Toyota and Mazda announced August 4, their agreement on a new business and capital alliance that – among other deliverables – will result in a new joint manufacturing plant to be built at a location to be named in the U.S. The new factory will have an investment of 1.6 billion U.S. dollars, employ 4,000 people and produce around 300,000 vehicles annually. It is scheduled to begin production in 2021.
The just-announced new plant will produce the Corolla for Toyota and (new to U.S.) crossovers for Mazda. This changes the previous assignment of Corolla production that had been scheduled for a new plant (under construction) at Apaseo el Grande, Guanajuato, Mexico that will begin production in 2019.
Toyota says they will now move production of the mid-size Tacoma pickup truck from their San Antonio, TX plant (TMMTX) to the new plant at Guanjuato, Mexico. San Antonio has long been the home of both the Tacoma and its sibling, the Tundra full-size pickup. But in recent years the increased popularity of the higher end and performance versions of Tacoma has stretched the plant to capacity. Even with adding Saturdays and ‘tweaking’ production processes to increase output, we are told TMMTX management has frequently made ‘day by day’ changes as to which truck (Tacoma vs Tundra) they built based on sales orders coming in.
This transition should not have any negative impact on jobs at San Antonio since a redesigned and reengineered Tundra is likely to be launched during this period. Taking Tacoma out of San Antonio will leave more than adequate capacity to produce stocks and meet demand for a new Tundra full-size truck for North America.
Toyota also produces work trim versions along with the beds for Tacoma at their plant (TMMBC) in Baja California, Mexico. The announcement did not indicate what, if any, changes – such as consolidating all Tacoma production into the new plant in Guanajuato – might be under consideration.
Corolla is currently produced at two locations in North America – TMMMS at Blue Springs, MS and in the Toyota plant complex at Ontario, Canada. TMMMS produces Corolla only. The much larger TMMC complex in Canada produces the Corolla plus the immensely popular RAV4 compact crossover and the RX 350 and RX 350 Hybrid for Lexus.
No information was available on other Toyota Corolla production reassignments that might be under consideration due to the new joint venture plant announced today.
We have heard – though – considerable speculation on where the new plant might be located with ‘near’ the current Blue Springs, MS plant being most often mentioned.
Other Alliance Deliverables
The announcement said – in addition to joint manufacturing – the agreement was intended to leverage their collective expertise in order to jointly develop technology for electric vehicles, develop connected-car technology, collaborate on advanced safety technology and expand complementary products.
Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) currently produces 13 models in North America (U.S. and Mexico) including: Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Lexus RX 350, Lexus ES 350, Yaris and Yaris iA. Toyota directly employs more than 44,000 people.
As more information regarding this announcement comes available, we will share it with you