Toyota Pares Down Mexican Plant Plans, but 100,000 Extra Tacomas Are Still on the Way

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
toyota pares down mexican plant plans but 100 000 extra tacomas are still on the way

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.

“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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  • Matt3319 Matt3319 on Oct 25, 2017

    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.

  • Scott A Scott A on Nov 16, 2017

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

  • Arthur Dailey Is most of your driving in stop and go urban traffic?Do you have kids, who you have to drive to and from their activities? Sometimes with their friends/teammates.Do you have pets? Do you have some mobility issues?Can you perform maintenance yourself?Do you have a discretionary fund for unforeseen repairs?Do you have another car, so that you only need to use this on weekends or rural/highway trips?Check your answers to the above. They may tell you that as nice as this car is, you might be better off with a new, boring but more practical SUV.
  • DungBeetle62 Before everyone dumps on California and their tax structure and Gavin's hairstyle, my recent road trip (which didn't get to California) was as follows when tanking up Super Unleaded.Texas - Fort Worth area Costco : $3.36Texas - Amarillo Sam's - $3.46New Mexico - Albuquerque Costco - $3.75Arizona - Flagstaff Sam's - $4.25Nevada - Henderson Costco- $4.72Oil is oil is oil is oil. State taxes vary, transporting the refined product varies, but a friggin BUCK AND A HALF more a gallon (and we're talking Costco to Costco here) ain't passing the smell test as you get out west. No, count me in with thinking someone out west is going for a bigger bite of the apple and figuring people will blame Newsom.
  • Tassos Whoever pays $23,000 for this 15 year old unreliable car will regret it. I would not pay half that.Go get an excellent E55 AMG, also 2008, and pretty close HP-wise, with far higher Torque, and a proper luxury interior..
  • VoGhost Why would anyone want to save a car dealer? No really - what actual value do they provide?
  • FreedMike Really nice example, but these are LEGENDARY for being money pits.