Toyota Gears Up For Next-Generation Tundra Production With $391 Million Investment Into Truck Plant

The full-size truck segment continues to be dominated by Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors, but Toyota isn’t retreating as the company has announced plans to invest $391 (£313 / €353) million into its San Antonio truck plant.

Toyota was coy on what the money will be used for, but confirmed the investment is “in response to strong customer demand and will make the plant even more competitive in the long-term … while remaining flexible with multi-vehicle production capabilities by introducing various advanced manufacturing technologies.”

That’s pretty vague, but it’s not hard to connect the dots as the plant currently builds the Tundra and Tacoma. Back in February, Toyota’s North American Group Vice President and General Manager, Jack Hollis, announced a new Tundra was coming “soon” and reports have suggested it will be introduced next year as a 2021 model.

Also Read: Next-Generation Toyota Tundra And Tacoma To Share A Platform

The redesigned truck is expected to be built at the upgraded San Antonio plant and reports have suggested it will ride on an all-new architecture internally known as F1. The platform has been designed with flexibility in mind and it will reportedly underpin of all of Toyota’s future pickups including the next-generation Tacoma. The two models are also slated to have greater component sharing potential and this should help to reduce costs.

Toyota hasn’t said much about the Tundra, but rumors have suggested it could be offered with a hybrid powertrain that consist of a turbo or twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine as well as an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. The powertrain could be loosely related to the one used in the Lexus LS 500h and will reportedly enable the model to have around 450 hp (336 kW / 456 PS) and 500 lb-ft (677 Nm) of torque. That’s Ford F-150 Raptor territory and the truck could also have a fuel economy rating in excess of 30 mpg.

The rumor should be taken with a grain of salt, but Toyota is undoubtedly aware that the next-generation Tundra will be facing some stiff competition as it will have to battle the recently redesigned Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Ram 1500. If that wasn’t enough of an uphill battle, Nissan is putting the finishing touches on a facelifted Titan and Ford is working on a redesigned F-150.

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  • Crash Bandicoot

    So does that platform sharing mean that the Tacoma will get bigger? I get that the 1/4 ton segment is a cash cow but they’ve gotten so big it’s silly; when I was shopping the new Ranger they were almost the same size and more money than the F150; kind of kills the point of a 1/4 ton which is usability in light trades, weekend pursuits, and maneuverability/parkability?

    • MarketAndChurch

      Exactly. I hope they make it a larger version of the Tacoma, a skinnier option than the F-150, Ram, or Silverado. Like, a 1/4 ton version of the Jeep Gladiator, or the Land Cruiser with a 6-foot truck bed and 4 Runner looks. A bigger version of this would be nice, with Toyota design cues of course: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3cdc082d12fb9cff9863874040c8ed516a9e6d09662d7676a6a29da65a83966a.jpg :

    • karam242

      what we need is original pickup subcompact pickup trucks of toyota nissan and others. rest of the world has Suzuki jimny which is in expensive but capable as land cruiser.

  • cooper

    Let’s hope toyoda uses a few of those millions for some rust proofing on those new models.

    • 2000+6 Tundra Owner

      Touche, all that R&D $$$ spent on mechanical & electronics, no good if what its attached to rots out. Go stainless or dip the frame in LineX or Rhino liner, and stainless bolts.

  • TheToadPrince.$€$

    and it will cost around 50 to 60k starting….give it up Toyota…

    • karam242

      totally agree. price for these things is ridiculous.

  • DecliningUSA

    Just make it with the legendary Toyota reliability and there will not be any other competition 🙂

    • karam242

      ford f150 is just as reliable. if they were they wouldnt be number 1 truck in america.

  • MarketAndChurch

    I hope it will look more like the Tacoma, and less like it looks now. Making it look massive and bloated won’t fool anyone into thinking that this is as capable as an F-150, Ram, or Sierra.

  • PhilMcGraw

    Part of me just hopes they take the same V6 on the 4Runner and update it or add a hybrid element to it to allow for more power. At least have it as one of the engine options.

    I know a lot of people don’t understand why Toyota doesn’t just update their engines more often like everyone else, but I have to say there are two really good reasons why they keep using the same engine: reliability and the cost of repair.

    I have a 2005 Avalon that essentially uses the same 3.5 liter v6 that is used even in the newest 2020 Avalon (albeit with direct injection upgrades and an on-demand Atkinson cycle added to make the engine more powerful and efficient). Parts for it are pretty cheap because it’s been used in such a variety of vehicles and it’s been proven to last.

  • karam242

    i have 2015 tundra now has 100k miles on it. Toyota doesn’t change things at all even when they have issues. toyota has known about dim entertainment screen in direct sunlight (makes it useless when backing up) and they have not made any changes to any model for last 5-8 years. my new 18 sienna has same issue. reliability will only take you so far toyota. check out how expensive it is to work on tundra, simple change of starter will set you back several thousands of dollars. headlight bulb change i had to take out the front grill assembly instead of reaching in the back. if anything is on the floor it will fall out when you open doors.

  • DecliningUSA

    I would NEVER buy turbo charged/super charged ANYTHING. It is just a gimmick to reduce engine size (and hence durability & reliability) forced on to auto manufacturers to improve fuel mileage (supposedly) by reducing weight. I would rather pay a few extra $500 per year extra for gas but have bullet proof reliability.

  • DecliningUSA

    I also hope they dont put any stupid touch screen controlled electronics/screen system in it. Knobs and dials are much better, easier to use and reliable. There is a reason why a 3000 year old invention still works and is not changed for anything more snazzy & electronic gimmicky. It is called a “wheel”. It still works perfectly after so many years. Old tech is more reliable.

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