In several news reports late last week, it was reported that Toyota will shift all production of the Tacoma pickup to Mexico. The mid-size Tacoma pickup has been built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas in San Antonio since 2004, alongside the Tundra. The production of the Tacoma will end in San Antonio by late 2021. The move comes as part of a restructuring for Toyota, that includes a $13 billion investment into United States operations through next year.
However, no U.S. jobs are expected to be cut because the San Antonio plant will begin producing its largest sport utility vehicle, the Sequoia, in 2022. The full-size SUV will be produced alongside Tundra pickups, on which the SUV model is based.
The realignment comes just months after Toyota announced a major investment in technology at the San Antonio plant. In September 2019, Toyota said it was investing $391 million in the San Antonio facility to introduce various advanced manufacturing technologies. This was the third investment in the plant by Toyota.
Introduced in 2000, the Sequoia slots between the mid-size Toyota 4Runner and the premium Land Cruiser. Last year, Toyota sold more than 10,000 Sequoias in the U.S., according to year-end sales reports.
The Sequoia currently is produced in Toyota’s Princeton, Indiana facility. This facility will cease to produce the Sequoia in 2022 so that it can focus on mid-size SUVs, such as the Highlander, and Sienna minivans.
Toyota has said these moves will speed up and reduce the costs of manufacturing processes by grouping like-platform vehicles together at each assembly plant.
The San Antonio plant, which broke ground in 2003 and began operations in 2006, currently employs 3,200 workers. Its suppliers create another 4,000 jobs.