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Toyota To Increase Tacoma Production
With the mid-size pickup truck segment being reinvigorated by new entries, including the Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota announced that it plans to increase Tacoma production by 60,000 units in 2018. That would allow the brand to reaffirm the model's place in the sales race, while bringing the fight to the two leading entries in the mid-size pickup truck segment: The Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon.
The increase in production will take place at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Baja California (TMMBC) plant. Currently the plant produces about 100,000 Tacomas and truck beds each year, which means that this initiative will represent a 60% percent increase in overall productivity at the facility. Toyota has come up with several ways to meet this goal; they announced that the hiring of 400 additional employees for the site, as well as an investment of $150 million into an expansion for the plant for the additional equipment and materials that will be needed.
"Demand for trucks has grown exponentially," Jim Lentz, CEO for Toyota Motor North America, said. "By leveraging our manufacturing facility's availability and expertise, we can be nimbler and better adjust to marketing needs in a just-in-time manner. We appreciate the efforts of our team members in San Antonio and Baja California plants who continue to deliver not only more volume for our dealers and customers, but the highest quality trucks day in and day out."
In addition to meeting the overall increase in demand, this measure could be a broader play designed to try and steal sales away from the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Before the arrival of these two models, the segment was relatively small with the Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier having the sales pie largely to themselves. Since then, the Tacoma has lost ground to the Colorado and is gradually being left in the dust by the technology and engine options that the Colorado offers to prospective buyers. This can be seen in its sales figures, with Toyota selling nearly 127,000 Tacomas to buyers in the United States. While this is an impressive figure, long term success against the Colorado required more inventory to be pumped out of the plants, which in turn could allow the truck to slowly regain the initiative against its American rivals. Production is split between TMMBC and the company's main truck plant, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX), in San Antonio, with the latter plant also being responsible for production of the bigger Tundra half-ton pickup truck.
Tags: toyota, news, toyota news, tacoma, toyota tacoma, toyota tacoma production
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