Facility targeted to build 160K trucks annually by 2018
The midsize pickup truck segment shows no signs of slowing down. For proof, look no further than the Toyota Tacoma, a truck so popular it has forced the automaker to invest and expand its plant in Tijuana, Mexico.
According to Reuters, Toyota is spending $150 million USD at the plant, with the goal of increasing production to 160,000 units annually by early 2018. That’s an increase of 60,000 units a year, Reuters reports. The investment will also add 400 jobs to the facility’s workforce.
In addition to the Mexican plant, the Tacoma is built alongside the Tundra at Toyota’s facility in San Antonio, Texas. Automotive News reports the Texan plant is also running at full capacity and is unable to keep up with demand for the Tacoma. Last year, the plant built 111,000 Tacomas and 122,000 Tundras, and Toyota hopes to increase total production to 250,000 units by the end of 2016.
The Tacoma’s stifled supply is partly to blame for its decrease in market share, which AN reports was 43 percent though the end of August, compared to 51 percent during the same period last year. The Tacoma also faces new competitors — the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins, along with the new Honda Ridgeline. Even the aging Nissan Frontier continues to sell well. Other automakers have taken note of the surging midsize truck segment. Ford is reportedly working to bring back the Ranger, and Hyundai has pretty much approved the production of its Santa Cruz pickup expected to join the lineup in a few years.
Source: Reuters, Automotive News (Subscription required)