Toyota Sets Aside $391 Million for Texas-made Pickups

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas is slated to receive a $391 million investment earmarked for streamlined pickup production. The manufacturer wants to merge the Tacoma and Tundra models onto a common platform, something we’ve mentioned in the past, and Toyota’s Tuesday announcement solidifies those rumors.

The new platform is meant to make hybridization easier and provide the basis for the entirety of the automaker’s global truck line — including SUVs like the Sequoia.

As part of Toyota’s civil commitment to San Antonio, the manufacturer also announced Alamo Promise will receive a $500,000 donation over a five-year period. Alamo Promise’s stated mission is to end poverty, improve economic and social mobility, and meet workforce demands throughout the city by paying for local residents to attend colleges and trade schools.

Including the most recent investment promise, Toyota Motor North America says it has spent over $3 billion on its San Antonio truck plant. The manufacturer believes the changes will help minimize complexity for trucks and make the facility more flexible, allowing it to adapt production to better suit consumer demand. Utilization of the new platform (internally dubbed F1) is anticipated to begin with the 2022 Toyota Tundra, starting in 2021. Tacoma is supposed to follow suit a year or so afterward.

It’s probably a wise move for the now-ancient Tundra but what it means for Toyota’s fleet as a whole is unclear. Presumably more hybridization, though that’s about the only thing we can count on with such limited details. Expect more info to trickle out over the next twelve months, with the Tundra gradually assuming its new shape for the 2022 model year.

[Image: Toyota]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Slavuta Slavuta on Sep 17, 2019

    Texas + Toyota pu truck = cowboy kamikaze

  • Thejohnnycanuck Thejohnnycanuck on Sep 17, 2019

    I think this is another very smart decision from Toyota and if a common truck platform enjoys half the success of their TNGA architecture they'll be in good shape. I don't believe for one second that Toyota ever expects to sell as many full sized pickups as Detroit. However I do believe they still want to make the Tundra (and Tacoma) a much better truck.

    • See 2 previous
    • DenverMike DenverMike on Sep 18, 2019

      @PrincipalDan I think you can get a Camry in more configurations than the Tundra. First they'd offer models/engines/axle ratios with much improved fuel economy. Except even just offering those can't be cheap, meaning they'd have to sell a lot of them just to break even. It appears they settled on the sweet-spot and it would take tremendous investing just to get to the next level.

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Sep 18, 2019

    Wait a moment, don't Nissan already have a big and a small truck on the same platform? I do not see them enjoying a lot of success in this.

    • DenverMike DenverMike on Sep 18, 2019

      It's worked out great, except how's it working? Is it what's best for the Frontier? Or the Titan? What about the Armada? Or ex-Xterra?

  • GoNavy99 GoNavy99 on Sep 18, 2019

    Count me in as one who has held off on a Tundra due to fuel economy issues. I came off an '08 LS with (basically) the same engine, returning about 24-25 mpg on mostly highway driving. Moved up to a GMC Sierra with the 6.2 and still manage 22 mpg (mostly highway). Both use premium. Losing 5-7 mpg for less power and about the same reliability isn't really a value proposition IMHO, even when considering the differential between premium and regular fuel.