Toyota is currently in the midst of a massive $13 billion investment in its U.S. operations that is part of a five year plan that will end in 2021. Toyota has spent half of the money already ( $7.1 billion) retooling plants, adding jobs, and even shuffling models to new facilities. However a part of this alignment will see the Tacoma take a trip south of the border.
That’s because, Tacoma production at the company’s San Antonio plant is scheduled to end by mid-2021 with all Tacoma production being moved to Mexico. This change is a result of Toyota refocusing the San Antonio facility to enhance production of full size body-on frame trucks and SUVs, with Tundra and Sequoia production slated to take the Tacoma’s place sometime in 2022.
This latest move also follows up on a prior $391 million investment in the facility, with Toyota’s contributions to the property now sitting at $3 billion. Toyota currently builds the Sequoia at its Indiana plant, with that facility expected to increase RAV4 and Highlander production to make up for the gap left by the Sequoia’s move to Texas.
The third generation Tacoma also has alot riding on its fenders, with the truck still being the best selling mid-size pickup in its segment. The refresh Toyota DOD for 2020 sharpened up its exterior styling, but more importantly, it brought Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa capability to the truck. This trio of technologies is an obvious attempt to lure in younger buyers, and Toyota hopes that moving the Tacoma to a new plant will help the company keep up with increased demand.
As for the Sequoia, we hope its move to Texas signals that a new generation is near. The current Sequoia debuted back in 2008, and despite a major refresh in 2018, it is still falling behind some of its rivals including GM and Ford.