Toyota Says Manufacturing Capacity Helped The Tacoma, Hurt The Tundra

Toyota saw sales of the Tundra rising 1.6 percent through November, which might sound good until you take a look at the overall pickup sales, which were up 4.1 percent. Now Toyota has a plan to sell more Tundras and improve its position in the full-size truck segment.

The Tundra has been stuck in the segment’s fifth place, trailing offerings from Ford, GM and FCA, but still ahead of the Nissan Titan.

Toyota Motor North America executives believe that the main reason for the Tundra’s slow sales can be found in the success of the smaller Tacoma. Their plan to ramp up Tacoma production in Mexico will also free up capacity for the Tundra in Texas.

“We made some choices … of full-on capacity — what we would be able to build,” said Jack Hollis, Toyota Division general manager to Automotive News. “We made some choices as a business entity to push Tacoma. That’s the fact of the business.”

Toyota sold 224,128 examples ofthe Tacoma mid-size truck this year through November, compared to the 107,042 Tundras in the same period.

“It’s capacity. San Antonio is at maximum capacity, maximum overtime. We worked 46 Saturdays last year. We are choosing — because it’s our strength — to build a higher mix of Tacoma than Tundra,” Toyota’s US sales boss Bob Carter said. “I have no announcements today, but it’s not a great surprise if you look at the lineup, that Tundra may be in the latter stages of its life cycle. But that will change. We have a plan underway.”

The Tundra is currently the oldest full-size pickup truck sold in the US market, with the last major update received back in 2014.

“Some of the competitors are doing 700,000, 800,000, 900,000 units. If your ultimate question is, is that our plan? No. We have no aspirations, no plans to compete at that volume. Can we do better than we’re doing today? Absolutely,” Carter said. “We can do better than that, but it’s not in our plan to be running some of the fantastic volumes that Ford, Chevy and Ram are developing.”

Hollis added: “There’s clearly a demand that we can increase the amount of Tundras. Will we increase the amount of Tundras? Yes. But I will say, it will always come down to what are the consumers and dealers asking us for, and that’s what we will respond to.”

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  • SpongeBob99Swell

    Bless the Tundra… redesign it already.

    Also hoping for a new Tacoma too since the current generation will not really age well in my opinion, despite the new Tacoma being kind of a let-down to me.

  • G Man

    I was thinking of switching from Tundra to Tacoma, but I’m not hearing a lot of good things about the latest generation of the smaller trucks.
    Guess I’lll just stick with my ’04 Tundra until Tacomas get better…Or I settle for an F150….

  • Bobby Lee

    That’s a lot of double talk from Toyota. The Tundra is out-devoloped by the competition. Can’t just rely on reliability.

  • Barrack Hussein Carter

    I have faith Toyota knows what they are doing better than I do. BTW my 2004 Tacoma just turned over 224,000 last week despite being wrecked 4 times. I run synthetic oil in it and it and it is down less than a pint over 10,000 miles. I have driven nothing but Toyotas since 1992.

  • tjblackdog

    The Tacomas, are huge with 278 hp. Most people are like why do I need all the extra truck? My 2018 is as big as my grandfather’s 2006 Tundra.

  • Bash

    I actually love the Tundra. I hold nothing against it.

  • Riley Carter

    Tundra is an awesome truck, but need to be looking at fuel economy and upgrading interior.

  • drc

    I have owned both a Tundra and Tacoma, as well as F-150’s and Silverados. The main issue with the Tundra is the engine, its out of date in both power and fuel economy.

  • Mystery Meat

    This should not be hard to figure out. Update the Tundra engine for fuel economy. Build 3/4 and 1 ton versions. Add a diesel option.
    Also might help to shrink the tacos down again, since no one else offers a small truck that’s actually small any more.

  • MarketAndChurch

    Well, it would sell well if it looked as good as the new Sierra, Ram, or F-series.

  • Thunderbolt

    it’s ugly, nobody wants to drive an ugly truck, except for ugly people.

  • BlackPegasus

    Nice looking truck but that interior is repugnant.

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