Production of the Toyota Tacoma resumed in July after tooling was moved from its former home at NUMMI in Fremont, California to San Antonio, Texas. The Texas factory is also home to the full-size Tundra which has not lived up to sales expectations, leaving lots of extra capacity.
Adding Tacoma production in Texas cost Toyota $100 million and brought 1,000 new jobs to the facility. Toyota spent about $1.3 billion on the San Antonio plant and tooled it up for 300,000 units a year. However, the Tundra has never even hit half that mark. With all of Toyota's North American pickup production now consolidated at San Antonio, the plant could finally come close to its capacity.
About 1,000 Jobs Added to Produce Toyota's Best-Selling Pickup
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (August 6, 2010) – Production of the Tacoma pickup truck began last month but was marked today with a ceremony at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc. (TMMTX). The $100 million investment boosts total investment to $1.4 billion.
Texas Governor Rick Perry joined San Antonio community leaders, team members, suppliers as well as Toyota officials including Toyota Motor Corporation Executive Vice President Atsushi Niimi.
Tacoma's production move to TMMTX was announced a year ago and adds 1,000 jobs. Today, over 2,800 team members are employed at TMMTX and the plant is fully positioned to ramp up Toyota's pickup truck production for the American market.
"The San Antonio plant has shown a great deal of resilience during the recession and is fully prepared to ramp-up Tacoma production," said Chris Nielsen, TMMTX president. "By building Tacoma in Texas, we are able to consolidate pickup truck production in the United States under one roof, allowing us to fully utilize the plant's capacity."
During the economic downturn, TMMTX was one of several Toyota plants impacted by poor sales. However, TMMTX retained its workforce instead of laying off, in order to strengthen team members' skills and improve plant processes.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957 and currently operates 14 manufacturing plants, including one under construction. There are more than 1,800 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in North America which sold more than 2.05 million vehicles in 2009. Toyota directly employs more than 35,000 in North America and its investment here is currently valued at more than $23 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals more than $25 billion. Toyota currently produces 12 vehicles in North America, including the Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Sienna, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, Venza and the Lexus RX 350.