Toyota Motor Corp. is aiming to increase tuck production at its new Mexican plant to 100,000 vehicles a year beginning 2021. The move is part of a major shift in the production of the automaker’s mid-size Tacoma pickup from the United States to Mexico.
The latest announcement from Toyota will see the company’s total Mexican production to increase to 266,000 trucks a year when at full capacity, split between the plant in the state of Guanajuato and an older facility near the U.S. border.
According to Toyota, it expects to send 95% of pickups from the two plants to the United States, where the company sold around 249,000 Tacomas in 2019.
“Tacoma production will be concentrated right here in Mexico,” said Christopher Reynolds, chief administrative officer for Toyota in North America, at the inauguration of the Guanajuato plant. “What this means is that the Mexican manufacturing facilities of Toyota will build all the Tacomas that serve the mid-size pickup segment in the North American market.”
Just last January, the automaker said it will move Tacoma production from the United States to Mexico as part of its production adjustments around North America. Doing so would “improve the operational speed, competitiveness, and transformation at its North American vehicle assembly plants based on platforms and common architectures.”
When asked about the possible reaction of the United States government to the decision, Toyota Mexico’s Head of Institutional Relations Luis Lozano said, “We don’t make business decisions based on politics. We are a company that thinks about the very long term and that we’re going to be here long after many people have gone.”
Lozano also said the company still has a big production footprint in America, where it currently has more than 30,000 workers.
Toyota invested $700 million into the new Guanajuato plant, which formally began operations in December.