Toyota is realigning production based on common architectures.
Toyota is amid a massive investment in its U.S. operations – $13 billion over five years through 2021. It’s spent half already – $7.1 billion – retooling plants, adding jobs, and moving models to new factories. However, part of that realignment will see Toyota Tacoma production end in the U.S. in late-2021 at its San Antonio factory. That’ll put all Tacoma production in Mexico.
The change comes as Toyota refocuses its Texas plant production on full-size body-on-frame trucks and SUVs. The factory will continue to build the Toyota Tundra, and the Toyota Sequoia will replace Tacoma production sometime in 2022. Last summer, Toyota announced another $391 million investment in the facility, which brings the company’s total investment in the property to $3 billion. Toyota currently builds the Sequoia at its Indiana plant, where the company will continue to assemble the Toyota Highlander, Highlander hybrid, and Toyota Sienna.
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The third-generation Toyota Tacoma, which is still one of the best-selling vehicles in America, debuted for the 2016 model year, and it just received a mid-cycle refresh for 2020. The update gave the Toyota truck a new grille and headlights. Inside, the refresh gave every trim a new eight-inch display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa integration for the first time.
Gallery: 2020 Toyota Tacoma: First Drive
Toyota says the production changes better aligns its North American operations based on common architectures and platforms, and we hope the move of Sequoia production means a new generation is coming. The current, second-generation Sequoia debuted for the 2008 model year with a refreshed version arriving for 2018. A substantial update to Toyota’s largest SUV is needed as consumers continue to flock to trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. Thankfully, Toyota’s changes result in no job reductions at any of its facilities.
Toyota Indiana Completes $1.3 Billion Modernization Project; Includes 550 New Jobs
PRINCETON, Ind. (January 17, 2020) – Furthering Toyota’s commitment to better serve customers and build vehicles where they are sold, Toyota Indiana (TMMI) invested an additional $700 million and added 150 new jobs to complete the transformation of its plant modernization project, announced in January 2017.
The project adds 550 new jobs and represents a total new investment of $1.3 billion, which was used for retooling, new equipment installation and advanced manufacturing technologies to further modernize the facility and meet strong demand for the all-new 2020 Toyota Highlander. Since 1996, Toyota Indiana’s total investment is approximately $5 billion and total employment exceeds 7,000. The plant has the capacity to assemble more than 420,000 vehicles annually.
This new investment is part of a broader commitment from Toyota to invest $13 billion in its U.S. operations over a five-year period through 2021. To date, Toyota has committed approximately $7.1 billion of the announced total; cumulative direct investment in the U.S. exceeds $28.4 billion.
“Hoosier manufacturers are driving our economy forward, building the products that power our world every day,” said Governor Eric Holcomb. “For more than 20 years, Toyota has been providing quality career opportunities and helping train Indiana’s future workforce. I am so grateful that Toyota remains committed to Indiana, and am thankful for all they are doing to continue making Indiana the best place to live, work and play.”
“Part of Toyota’s tremendous success in North America is building vehicles where we sell them,” said Christopher Reynolds, chief administration officer, manufacturing and corporate resources for TMNA. “Our $1.3 billion investment at TMMI is further proof that our Hoosier workforce is rededicated to producing safer, high-quality vehicles our customers love to drive.”
Today’s news was announced at a celebration in Princeton, Ind., where the all-new 2020 Highlander recently began production. In addition to the plant investment, Toyota Indiana committed $1 million to a new, regional workforce program that will connect students with career opportunities in advanced manufacturing while still in high school.
Toyota Indiana President, Leah Curry, presents $1M donation to the 4T Manufacturing Academy in Princeton.
“This program will allow students to get a jump start on their careers while receiving hands-on training with industry experts and educators,” said Leah Curry, Toyota Indiana plant president. “By collaborating with our local schools, we are creating a workforce solution—but, more importantly—providing greater visibility to student career options and pathways in the region.”
To improve the operational speed, competitiveness and transformation at its North American vehicle assembly plants based on platforms and common architectures, Toyota Motor North America, Inc. will complete the following alignments by 2022.
Toyota Indiana (Princeton)
TMMI will focus on production of mid-size SUVs and minivans including the Toyota Highlander, Highlander Hybrid and the Toyota Sienna. TMMI will cease production of the Toyota Sequoia by 2022.
Toyota Texas (San Antonio)
Toyota Texas (TMMTX) will focus on production of full-size body-on-frame trucks and SUVs. It will continue to assemble the Toyota Tundra and will begin assembly of the Toyota Sequoia starting in 2022. TMMTX will cease production of the Toyota Tacoma by late-2021.
Production capacity at TMMTX remains at 208,000 units annually, and last summer, it announced a $391 million new investment for multi-vehicle production capabilities. The facility’s total investment tops $3 billion; employment is 3,200.
Toyota Guanajuanto (Guanajuanto, Mexico)
Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Baja California (TMMBC) has been assembling Tacomas since 2004. In December 2019, Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Guanajuato (TMMGT) also began assembly of the Tacoma; both plants will continue to focus on production of mid-size trucks. Production capacity at TMMGT remains at 100,000 units per year; employment is 1,000.
As a result of this production alignment, there will be no reduction to direct jobs at any of Toyota’s facilities across North America.