Toyota Plans to Expand Truck Production in 2016

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Seeing a jump in truck sales and changes in consumer demand, Toyota plans to expand truck production in 2016 to keep up according to Toyota’s North America CEO Jim Lentz.

Toyota Truck Production Expands

Lentz says their overall truck production ratio was 7 percent behind the industry 5 years ago and has since climbed to just 2 percent behind.

This increase reflects a change in consumer behavior. Last year, cars represented 51 percent of the nearly 2.5 million vehicles it sold with trucks making up the other 49 percent.

In response to this Toyota will bump its truck production from a flat 50 percent to 54 percent of its total production output.

The jump in “truck” production will include SUVs as well with Toyota bringing in more RAV4s from Canada, increasing Highlander production in Indiana and adding a third shift in San Antonio, Texas.

Lexus will also increase production to 55 percent.

In an Automotive News article, Lentz said potentially rising gas prices and a financial crisis continue to make Toyota wary of making this shift. Lentz continues to reference the 2009 financial crisis.

“In our rearview mirror is the deep recession to 10 million units,” Lentz told Automotive News. “I can’t tell you how long gas prices will stay low. All it takes again is something getting sunk in the Straits of Hormuz, and the price of gas changes overnight. I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket.”

While caution is a good business approach, meeting consumer demand is also pretty important.

This news signals to us, Toyota is going to continue to take the cautious route with its truck lineup and that any large scale plant production or new products (see: Toyota heavy duty or diesel) are off the table for now.

Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. DJ says:

    Toyota Truck inventories here on the front range of Colorado are always low, so a boost could be easily absorbed IMO.

    Pretty amazing sales for Toyota considering this – the dated Tundra finished last or second to last in most catagories, really disappointing, Swears better have something up his sleeve for the Chicago Auto show!

    • Goldie says:

      The Tundra did pretty good for being the only 4×4 in the test. All the other trucks were 2wd since this was purely a street test.

      • DJ says:

        There is no doubt Toyota’s decision on what model to send is a total head scratcher.

        But I don’t know it would have made an enormous difference.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      I just saw that story. Sorry, I’ve been on vacation. Yep, the Tundra definitely got beat.


  2. Breathing borla says:

    Hope they have a nice refresh coming for us with this increased production

  3. Randy says:

    The pickuptruck review is a complete farce. Really doesn’t matter; those that stay with Toyota trucks know why, they simply work better and last longer.

    • Breathing borla says:


      why is it a farce, all the test were third party timed, etc.

      The numbers don’t lie.

      I’m just curious as PUTC usually has good data numbers by third parties, you can throw out the subjective things if you want.

      I mean the GMC was faster loaded with 1750 lbs than the tundra was empty and got WAY better fuel mileage doing it, we have to give them some kind of credit.

      • Goldie says:

        Don’t forget that the GM 6.2 V8 needs premium unleaded, which is what PUTC used.

        • Tim Esterdahl says:

          I initially commented that it doesn’t require premium. Yet, I stand corrected. You are correct the 6.2L V8 uses premium fuel while the other GM engines do not.


          • jmon71 says:

            Curious as whats the mpg for the GM trucks that compare to Tundra re towing. Some online folks are posting 15-16 average, sure cylinder deactivation helps on the highway but if you are commuting in a truck your likely not buying a truck that well, can be a truck and tow. That’s why i have a car 2 for highway MPG. I need a truck to tow a boat, dont need a 3/4 ton. Boats about 5500lb loaded fuel and trailer. My 02 tundra could pull it locally, and did for 8 years, but struggled.

            5.3L, 3.73 and 3.42 rear end MPG?
            6.2L, 3.42 rear end MPG?

            Bragging about MPG when the truck tows 6500-7500 with a 3.08 ratio is not quite honest when you add in tow ratings from a 3.42 6.2L or 3.73 5.3L in the same marketing.

            And the 1500 GMCs 6.2L is only in the top trim, bare bones max trailer 3.42 good luck finding one. Its a 50K solid truck.

            I cross shopped the GMC 1500’s, with 10K + tow capacities, and only a couple models beat the Tundra, not by much, the 6.2L is premium as well.

            I got a 2016 Tundra DC, TRD, SRS upgrade for IBC and bigger tank. 38.8K out the door not including tax/title stuff. 40.8K all in. I have GM employee pricing, i was looking at best 48-49K no tax/title/etc and could only find fully loaded trucks MSRP’ing over 50k!

            I liked the GMC interiors a bit better.

            quality,resale, backing- Toyota bought my 99 taco back for 14.5K with 199K miles, rusted frame. Toyota put a new frame on my purchased used 10K$ 2002 Tundra 100K miles, I just sold it for 6500$ and 177K miles. That is what tilted the shopping, and a 10K$ price difference. Gas at 1.85$, a car for the highway, real world GMC towing and MPG barely beating the Tundra around town…

          • Tim Esterdahl says:


            You bring up many good points and I’ll likely hear these same points when I talk with Toyota next week about the test. LOL. The premium angle is interesting and I’m currently working on a story about it.

            As far as MPG towing, I didn’t do a test like that when I had the truck. Frankly, as a single-person operation and all the other factors involved in MPG tests, I just don’t feel I have the facilities to make an un-biased test happen. I can say it towed about the same as the Tundra albeit I did tow two different loads. I’ll leave it up to the forums and to weigh in on fuel economy.

            Thanks for the comment!


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