By on October 25, 2017

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro - Image: Toyota

The only thing better than two plants producing North America’s hottest-selling midsize pickup is three plants churning them out. That’s a big part of Toyota’s plan to stay ahead of General Motors and future competitors like Ford in the small yet vital segment.

Despite making every effort over the past year to build more Tacomas at its Tijuana, Mexico, and San Antonio, Texas, assembly plants, those facilities are maxed out, leading to Toyota’s August decision to punt Corolla production (initially bound for a planned Guanajuato, Mexico, plant) to a new $1.6 billion U.S. facility in the near future.

On paper, the Guanajuato plant aimed to produce 200,000 Corollas per year. Well, those plans have changed. Toyota now says it will drop its investment in the plant from $1 billion to $700 million, with production capacity dropping by half. That still means 100,000 extra Tacomas for a hungry customer base.

According to Reuters, the updated plan would allow for a future production increase, if needed. Despite the drop in investment, Toyota claims it remains committed to Mexico.

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – Image: Toyota

“Our biggest concern today in the way we produce cars in North America – we don’t have enough trucks,” said Toyota executive vice president Didier Leroy at the Tokyo Motor Show. “We now can have a hub between Texas, Baja, California, and the new plant in Mexico, and in the three different locations we will produce the Tundra and the Tacoma, which is the best in terms of global supply for the North American market.”

Leroy added that fears of a U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA and threats of import tariffs from President Donald Trump did not play into the plant decision.

“We are not playing any political games,” he said.

The extra production adds to the 160,000 Tacomas built annually in Tijuana and the 135,000 coming from Texas. While the midsize pickup segment remains somewhat fickle, there’s no denying Toyota’s status as king of this particular hill.

Tacoma sales in the U.S. in September were up 15 percent, year-over-year, with sales over the first nine months of 2017 coming in just over 3 percent higher than the same period in 2016. The segment’s second-best-selling pickup, the Chevrolet Colorado, sold 8,767 fewer units than the Tacoma last month, despite seeing sales rise compared to both August 2017 and September of last year.

[Images: Toyota]

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7 Comments on “Toyota Pares Down Mexican Plant Plans, but 100,000 Extra Tacomas Are Still on the Way...”


  • avatar
    Marcus36

    You need to change this sentence…

    “We now can have a hub between Texas, Baja, California, and the new plant in Mexico,

    There is no need for a “,” between Baja and California….the name of the state is “Baja California”

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Simple conclusion: put the Tundra out of its misery, freeing up production capacity for Tacoma, a truck that actually does sell well enough on its own.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I see far too many Tundra trucks on the road to accept the claim that it doesn’t sell ‘well enough on its own.” One thing I do see though; the people who own one, don’t want to let them go. Maybe they don’t sell in huge numbers, but that’s because they simply don’t die while the “American” brands get replaced every four or five years, whether they need it or not.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    San Antonio is sole assembly site for Tundra. Skeptical that Toyota will produce Tundra in two locations, let alone three.

    “We now can have a hub between Texas, Baja, California, and the new plant in Mexico, and in the three different locations we will produce the Tundra and the Tacoma, which is the best in terms of global supply for the North American market.”

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Anyone happen to mention those Tacomas are ugly? Sure, they may be the most popular mid-sizer but that’s more due to their supposed reliability than their appearance. Since I haven’t owned one, I can’t respond either way. However, I’m not likely to own one either, not looking like the one above or any model in the last 20 years. That fake ‘big rig’ nose is just passé and detracts from its looks and its economy. I’d rather have the Nissan… or even the Chevy mid-sizer over this.

  • avatar
    matt3319

    Now that we have a few years of the current Taco done been built, I got to say the previous version is still much better by a long shot! The 4.0L V6 is much better than the what ever cycle the 3.5L V6 is.

    The old version just seems stouter and better. That’s my opinion of course. The old one still has rick solid resale numbers.

  • avatar
    Scott A

    I’ll be in the market for a new Tundra in 2019. I won’t take any truck made in Mexico.

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