Toyota May Expand San Antonio Plant

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According to an interview of Toyota North American COO Yoshi Inaba by Jason Buch of the San Antonio Express-News, Toyota will be increasing production at the San Antonio plant in the next year or so. This increased production is a result of two factors:

  1. Tundra sales are picking up. After a dismal 2009, Tundra sales in 2010 are up 26% year to date. This increase is significantly higher than GM’s 2010 YTD sales increase, which are only up about 11%. Ram sales are down 10% so far this year, and it remains to be seen if the Tundra can outsell the Ram 1500 this year. (See all of the latest truck sales figures on
  2. San Antonio now builds the Tacoma. Following the closure of the NUMMI plant, Toyota moved almost all of their Tacoma production to the same plant that builds the Tundra.

If sales continue to increase industry-wide, and if Toyota trucks continue to sell well (the Tacoma especially), it’s likely Toyota will have to hire more workers, pay more overtime, and eventually increase capacity of the plant. Obviously, this is good news for San Antonio…but it’s also good for the USA. After all, the Tundra is the most American pickup available today. Building more trucks in America is always a good thing.

Toyota Invests In The USA While Other Automakers Leave

If you read the article by Jason Buch, you’ll see that Toyota’s COO doesn’t shy away from the idea of hiring more American workers. Contrast this with a recent study that shows Ford, GM, and Chrysler-Fiat will be expanding production in Mexico over the rest of the current decade. Evidently, these automakers can’t make enough of a profit on small cars built in the USA, so they’re going to build vehicles and/or major components for these vehicles in Mexico.

While Toyota certainly has some production facilities in Mexico, they have refrained from moving production out of the US and Canada. In fact, Toyota recently announced that they will be building the Corolla in their new Mississippi plant next year.

After the closure of NUMMI last year, Toyota moved Tacoma production to San Antonio and Corolla production was partially moved to plants in Japan in Canada. However, this was only a temporary move…when the Mississippi plant comes on line next fall, it’s estimated by some that Toyota will stop importing the Corolla from Japan completely.

The Corolla is a small car, and by all accounts it’s profitable. Odd that Toyota can achieve that feat without building cars in Mexico, no? Maybe GM, Ford, and Chrysler should contact Toyota and ask them how they can afford to hire American workers to build vehicles.

Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. mike says:

    this is a great thing i realy hope that with the tundra sales increasing that the diesel tundra’s will come out sooner.

    • Jason says:

      mike – That would be great, wouldn’t it? Toyota is still kicking around the idea of an HD Tundra in the next few years…and it would have a big diesel.

  2. rich says:

    My friends Corolla just hit 240K. Not many “throw aways” make it to that mileage. I’ld love to see a HD Tundra.

  3. mk says:

    Yep, speaking from experience, all 15+ of my new chevy silverados and GMC’s in the past 20 years or so were mostly built in Oshawa Ontario Canada or Mexico, none in the US states. Fricking joke and glad my tundra supports US workers even if some of the profits to back to Japan. At least I am help keeping American’s employed vs. where I work buying all the China crap, restocking it into our US company, and reselling the crap to US citizens.

  4. mike says:

    yah jason, i cant wait to C those monsters on the road and i can sense some real good competition with ford, GM, and Dodge. I really whant one of those trucks. Ow and rich, thats awsome a corolla with 240k you could probobly get another good 50 out of that.

  5. Jason says:

    rich – Killer – 240k miles is about 120k farther than most cars will go. Your friend probably did all of his maintenance, didn’t he? 🙂

    mk – I think it’s OK to buy a truck made in Mexico or Canada (a lot of crewcab Tacomas are built in Mexico, Corollas in Canada, etc.). My problem is that so many people think they’re “buying American” just because a product is made by Ford, GM, or Chrysler-Fiat. That’s just silly.

    mike – I hope so man – I hope so. It’s definitely being considered by the powers at Toyota.

  6. Mickey says:

    No where near Rich’s 240k but tomorrow I will turn 90k on my 07. Good to see Toyota wanting to invest more here.

  7. Mickey says:

    Did anyone read the TARP file from Obama’s camp where he wanted the GM and Chrysler to model themselves after Foreign car manufacturer’s? Not to mention that they rushed people into unemployment from the shutdown of dealerships?

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