By on December 17, 2013

toyotatundra

Toyota is examining the feasibility of increasing capacity at its San Antonio factory that assembles fullsize Tundra and compact Tacoma pickup trucks, according to a report by Automotive News. Operating two shifts plus overtime and Saturdays, the plant has a capacity of 250,000 units. Toyota’s Tijuana, Mexico plant puts together knockdown kits of the Tacoma, adding another 50,000 units, most of which go to the local market or to Canada. Fay said that fiddling with the assembly lines could add ~7,000 trucks to each plant’s output, but the total of 307,000 units may not be enough for the North American market as sales of the Tundra have rebounded for the past couple of years after a three year slump.

In the first 11 months of the year, Toyota has sold 248,468 Tundras and Tacomas combined in the U.S., up 14% from 2012, with 101,744 of those being the redesigned Tundra. Fay predicted that Toyota could sell 137,000 Tundras next year. When the Tundra was introduced in 2007, Toyota sold almost 200,000 that year but sales dropped about 30% in 2008 and then fell to ~79,000 as the recession deepened in 2009.

If Toyota sells 137,000 Tundras next year, even if Tacoma sales remain the same, the plants in Texas and Mexico would not be able to keep up with the demand. Still, Toyota isn’t eager to risk the capital expenditures needed to increase the capacity at San Antonio, having witness sales crater just five years ago.

“We have 2008 and 2009 fresh in our minds, when the pickup market dropped from 2.5 million to 1.1 million,” Fay said, “but we also need to be flexible for three years down the road from now. What kind of production and support do we need for the second half of this decade? How much do we need to invest?”

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47 Comments on “Toyota Considers Increasing Capacity at San Antonio Truck Plant as Tundra Sales Climb...”


  • avatar
    Halftruth

    It’s nice they have seen a good jump but then again, nearly everyone has.
    I doubt Tundra is generating many conquest sales. Looks more like a by product of a mildly improving economy.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I agree! I’ll be trading my 2011 at the end of 2014 for a 2015 model, or at the end of 2015 for a 2016 model. At my age, it should be my last truck before MVD takes my license away from me.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    A note to Bill Fray – nothing ventured, will result in nothing gained.

    With regards to the Tundra – they’ve been playing the Detroit 3 game of pricing the Monroney sticker higher than market value and then offering incentives.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Currently, Toyota pickups are far more expensive out the door than GM and Ford products. GM and Ford typically put incredible incentives on their trucks. Frequently, in the OC Register, you see new GM and Ford pickups available in the 17K range … sometimes less. The Tundra never seems to crack the low 20s. That is the big reason for the sales difference.

    More Toyota sales would require pricing and incentives in line with GM and Ford pricing and incentives. But, if Toyota does put pricing and incentives in line, then GM, Ford, and the UAW will lose their panties and start shedding tears. The Obama administration will spring back into action. Toyota is still struggling with costs from the Obama recall attacks. Toyota should leave their pickup prices and incentives high until the Democratic clowns are out of office.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Recall attacks? My 2008 Sienna has had three recalls, all legitimate and none UIA related. The spare tire cage can rust and drop the spare tire whilst driving, the solenoid on the transmission can fail when the car is in park (that happened to me and no fix yet announced) and there was something fuel line related. So a lot of the recalls are real issues with a Toyota product. So please don`t fall into all recalls must be due to a supposed Government attack. Toyota themselves have admitted that.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        All you need to do is own a Toyota or two to figure out they have their own set of probelms. Neither of our V6 Toys made it to a 100K before the motors self destructed. Not anectdotal, both were engineering flaws that affected thousands upon thousands of other owners. And if you think Toyota stands behind their flawed products I got a bridge I’d love to sell you.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Every car has recalls.

        How many cars have their recalls announced by the UAW party’s secretary of transportation? With the official admonition to literally stop driving it if you own one?

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Remarks about the import-hating “Democratic clowns” aside, I rarely see full-sized trucks going for under $20K OTD. The ones that do end up in that price-range would mostly go to fleet-buyers our tradesmen who legitimately need utilitarian vehicles. The meat of the market, though, is the $32-40K range, and many people are even willing to pay luxury-car prices for a pickup.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Except for the fact that you are wrong and the F-150 has a higher average transaction price than the Tundra.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        cars.com shows the same pattern as the OC Register. Hunderds and hundreds … perhaps thousands of new GM and Ford base pickups available for less than 20K. Many in the 16s and 17s.

        Now go to Toyota Tundra, and the cheapest is around 23K.

        Nothing but good old fashioned price cutting.

        And, the so called average transaction price is statistical garbage. What does that include and exclude? Does Ford include fleet? Who knows.

        • 0 avatar
          BrianL

          Seeing trucks on cars.com apparently isn’t statistical garbage? GM makes WT (work truck) Silverados that are meant to be cheap. I am sure Ford does something similar.

          No, you are talking about seeing hundreds of trucks when GM and Ford sell thousands each month.

          November 2013
          Silverado sales, 34k
          Sierra sales, 14k
          F150 sales, 65k
          Tundra sales, 10k

          Now, I live in Texas, and when I do a Silverado search, it tells me how many trucks are in different price ranges (75063, 30 mile radius). Here is what I found.

          15k-20k had 10 trucks.
          20k-30k had 324 trucks.
          30k-40k had 2227 trucks.
          40k-50k had 757 trucks.
          50k-75k had 170 trucks.
          52 trucks had no price.

          Given the pricing of current inventory, why do you think the reason for sales is price cutting and trucks under 20k when the vast majority in inventory are over 30k?

          Since cars.com is your guide, is that statistical garbage?

          • 0 avatar
            jimmyy

            30 miles is a very small sample. If you use cars.com across the entire country, that is a very large sample. And, you do not see a single Tundra for less than the mid 23K range. But, you have pages and pages of Detroit trucks under 20K, some into the 16s. That is the story … it is all about the price, as it should be.

            And, the so called average transaction price is suspect. That is a number being calculated by marketing departments designed to spin spin spin. Actual listing in cars.com is solid raw data.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            I wouldn’t put much value in raw prices from cars.com.

            Posted prices range all the way from actual no haggle sales price, to sales price less 1600 bucks in freight and “processing fees” with all possible, non-stackable rebates pre stacked and a $3000 trade in allowance besides.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            ^That’s very true. You do have to actually click on each car and read the description, because some of the listings will say “Price may include/includes all possible factory rebates”…and even if it doesn’t, I’ve dealt with dealerships that simply would not honor the Cars.com prices…

          • 0 avatar
            BrianL

            Ok, cars.com for all new Silverado trucks. No mile radius. Lets look at the price breakdown.

            I am going to ignore anything under 15k (6 vehicles), but those a pricing mistakes. If not, they would have sold by now.

            15k-20k 147
            20k-30k 7524
            30k-40k 56712
            40k-50k 64024
            50k-75k 15736

            I am also going to ignore the ones over 75k (5 trucks).

            As you can see, the ones under 20k are very very few in inventory. Doubtful they sell many in that range when you look at the total inventory available. Sure, that is what you will see advertised. Car dealers always show the lowest striped down models in adds to get people in the door.

            So, seeing “pages and pages of Detroit trucks under 20k” doesn’t mean much when the Silverado sells 3 times as many trucks, and less than 1% of the trucks listed in the US are these under 20k trucks you keep talking about. 147 trucks will fill up some pages, but it looks like the vast majority of those sales are on higher dollar trucks in the 30k-50k range.

          • 0 avatar
            jimmyy

            If you include all Detroit truck, there are many many trucks well below the 20K number. Bottom line is a base Detroit truck may be available at least 6K less than a base Toyota truck, perhaps much much less. It appears base 4WD trucks even have a larger difference. It is likely that, option for option, the Detroit trucks usually have a huge price advantage.

            As much as I prefer Toyota and Honda vehicles, if I was in the market for a pickup, I would go for a Detroit brand. Why? Because it is unlikely the superior Toyota reliability is worth a 6K+ premium. Congrats to Detroit for providing the best value in the pickup space. Now, if they could do the same in the car and CUV space ….

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      I think if they can sell without ridiculous incentives then they will be ahead.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The other day we went shopping at a mall outside of Atlantic City and they had a Taco and Tundra on display.

    The Tundra did look very good. It was tricked up with some TRD stuff. I would think it would end up as a shopping mall cruiser. The quality of the vehicle was better than I anticipated.

    Toyota can trump Nissan by dropping the 4.5 V8 TD into the Tundra. Fitted to a Landcruiser the diesel has about 280hp and 480ftlb of torque. With the more lax CO2 emission rules in the US Toyota should be able to get over 300hp and 550ftlb of torque for the US.

    It’s great to see a more competitive Tundra. I hope the Cummins Titan also provides more competition.

    I’m not a Toyota fan, but Toyota is the most American of the pickups, ironic.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Its the second most American truck according to cars.com

      http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=top&subject=ami

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        The Tundra and F-150 are tied at 75% US/Canadian content according to the NHTSA AALA publication. Ram not far behind at 67%.

        On the other hand, the company taxpayers bailed out to the tune of 10 billion dollars to “save the American auto industry” is building their truck in Mexico with just 40% American content. Traitors.

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          @ Dan….We lost our award winning, Oshawa Truck plant,to Mexico. So I’m not really thrilled with GM’s decision either.

          I don’t pay my taxes to Uncle Sam. So I won’t comment on the 10 billion.

          The Ontario, and Canadian government did use my tax dollars to help bail out GM.

          The governments sold their shares at a loss. That sucks! Trading at 41 dollars today. Such is life, in the world of share holders eh ?

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Polite smile. I’d rather buy my full size truck in the men’s department, thank you.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      Down the aisle to your left, next to the stuffed-crotch pants.

    • 0 avatar
      Kinosh

      The same engineers design the F-150, Ram, Tundra, and Silverado. This industry is fluid, and all of those trucks are designed in the US.

      Not sure what you mean by “men’s department”, but the Tundra has the same credentials as any other light-duty pickup.

      • 0 avatar
        Roberto Esponja

        I don’t think there’s anything feminine about this truck, but man, that is one ugly front end. I feel the same about Ford Super Duty pickups and Ford E Vans. Who approves these ugly designs??

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        No, the Tundra does not have the same credentials as any other light duty pickup. Cred with old guys drinking coffee at IHOP and suburban guys hauling golf clubs and their lunch box? Yes. Credibility at job-sites compared to trucks from the D3? No. Oddly Tacomas are welcome to park amongst the Rams, Silverados and F-150s. Time to go wash my thermos.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      “Polite smile. I’d rather buy my full size truck in the men’s department, thank you.”

      Exactly. Or how would you prove that you are a man?

  • avatar
    mikey

    No matter what GM does with the Caddy, only a small percentage of the BMW and Merc, crowd will convert.

    Toyota faces the same problem with the pick up crowd. From what I see, the Tundra is about as close as Toyota ever got to making a “real” truck.

    Not quite there yet.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Mikey, did you see the Bloomberg Cadillac piece on the C-Suite, presented by Jeffrey Hayzlett?

      I agree with you, “only a small percentage of the BMW and Merc, crowd will convert.”

      Cadillac lost the cachet it once had, and very, very few current BMW, M-B and Audi owners would want to give up the cachet their cars have in abundance.

      I think Caddy would be well advised to market to the demographic currently on the brink of stepping up to a BMW, M-B or Audi. And that depends on income, not age.

  • avatar
    JK43123

    UAW party? Bush started the bailout.

    John

  • avatar
    mikey

    I retired from GM on Dec 19 2008. George W wrote the first check that morning.

  • avatar
    mikey

    My idea of a truck is a 4×4, reg. cab with an 8ft box. Rubber floor mats, and a manual transfer case. An honest question. Does Toyota make such a thing?

    I picked up a used Sierra last fall, to use as a winter vehicle. They are very hard to find. I can’t believe I’m the only guy on the planet that prefers that kind of a truck.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @mikey
      Yes Toyota does. V8 turbo diesel powered and is a midsizer and will out last a Jeep in arduous conditions.

      Check this link out.

      http://www.truelux.com.au/5th_wheelers/Custombuilt_Range/Single_Bed_Models/8.5m_28ft_SB_Single_Beds_015/page_images/8.5m28%20SB%20Custom%20015%20Bell%20Exterior%20batched/28_SB_Truelux_Factory_Left_8344.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      Yes, Toyota has a Tundra RCLB that’s available, complete with the rubber floors and everything. You can even get the rubber floors in the Double Cab base model if you so desire AND with a long bed. To my surprise, my dealer had 3 of them on the lot a few weeks ago.

  • avatar
    Toad

    Most truck buyers need interior storage space; regular cab trucks have little to none. Unless you use your truck to deliver parts or read meters the regular cab is impractical. Even tradesmen/contractors have stuff they want to lock inside a cab and/or keep out of the rain.

    Anecdotally, below the Mason Dixon line the only (non fleet) regular cab pickup trucks I see are driven by northern transplants.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    I prefer the previous generation Tundra to this latest “big for big’s sake” version. I heard people joked it was a 7/8 truck…but so what?
    I looked at a new one in the parking lot and noted the door size, fender height, etc…just sheet metal used to bulk-up a design driven by marketing.
    Driving to work the other morning before sunrise I was following some cars on the freeway. A Chevy Malibu, (previous gen) was passing a very small, dumpy-looking car I thought was an old Subaru or similar…come to find out it was a MB 190…my, how marketing has effected design and customer “requirements”.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I’ve got a 2011 5.7 SR5 Long Bed Double Cab with 18″ wheels and the factory tow package. The CrewMax 4×4 is bigger and taller than mine and has a shorter bed.

      Mine is actually as big and as tall as my 2006 F150 was, and about the same length as my 1988 Silverado ExtCab Long Bed. I had all three of them parked next to each other before I sold the Silverado and F150 in Jan 2011.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        @highdesertcat, he is referring to the 1st Gen Tundra from 2000-2006, derided by the hater brigade as a “7/8″ scale truck. I don’t agree with that since it looks no smaller than contemporary F150 or Silverado, not to mention doesn’t crumple like a tin can in the IIHS offset test like they did, but the haters were vocal and Toyota listened to them and not the many people who bought it and loved it.

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          @ Was it the old Tundra, or the Tacoma,that had the frame rot issue?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            They both had the problem in the rust belt. Neither had a problem where I live in the desert.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @ HDC..You guys down there, have 40 year old cars being used as daily drivers.

            I envy you. That being said, where I live,the sheet metal on a non rust proofed ,big three truck,will give you 13-14 years. The frames will last 20-25.

            Japanese trucks will die from frame rot in 10 to 12. Liberal applications of yearly rust proofing will buy another 5 years.

            Now you put that some amount of rust proofing on a Ford or Chevy truck,easy get 25 years.

            You might notice I didn’t include the Rams.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Hey Mikey, yes, there is something to be said about the Great Southwest of America. Lots of old cars still in use here.

            Problem is, too many US East Coasters and Canadians are catching on to the greatest secret never told.

            Living in the desert has its distinct advantages, and more and more people are clamoring for a little acre of their own in God’s Country. Especially where I live in Mountain Country.

            Back in the day there was a process called Ziebart Rustproofing and I had my Olds Custom Cruiser done in Bayonne, NJ, before shipping it to Bremerhaven in Germany. Cost me $300 in 1972 IIRC. A lot of money back then for a young four striper in the US Air Force.

            It was a pretty slick process but added about a hundred pounds in weight of the nastiest, gooey-est black tar to the under carriage.

            But hey, it kept my Olds rust free for all the time I was there. I had my Toronado done as well before it was shipped to Antwerp, Belgium for delivery to me there.

            The poor suckers who brought their Detroit cars over to Germany without having them rustproofed suffered terribly from the rust worm.

            One Army Captain brought a brand spanking new Cordoba over with him and within a year after his arrival the frame was beautiful reddish brown.

            He and I tried coating it with submarine paint, but within weeks the paint had flaked off because the rust let go.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          84Cressida, I knew what he was referring to. But as far as “big for big’s sake” goes, I don’t find my Tundra bigger than my other trucks I had.

          The Tacoma in certain configurations is as large as the previous generation Tundra was.

          One of my sons has a Tacoma V6 4-dr 4×4 TRD and it as big, if not bigger than the previous Tundra was.


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