Toyota Sequoia Production Goes to San Antonio in 2022
All Tacoma Pickups to Be Built in Mexico Starting in Late 2021
Toyota is streamlining its U.S. production plans by consolidating the manufacture of related vehicles. The first example of this will be Toyota Sequoia production, which is slated to move to Texas in 2022.
The announcement was headlined by a $1.3 billion, 550-job investment in the company's Toyota Indiana (TMMI) plant, in Princeton, Indiana. The modernization project will help retool, install new equipment, and create more advanced manufacturing technologies for TMMI, thanks in part to strong demand for the all-new 2020 Highlander midsize SUV. The Highlander and Highlander Hybrid are both built at TMMI, as is the Sienna minivan.
However, one of TMMI's current models will make the jump to a different North American facility. Starting in 2022, Toyota Sequoia production will migrate away from Indiana to Toyota Texas (TMMTX). That San Antonio plant currently builds the Tundra fullsize truck, a close relative of the Sequoia's. And in a bombshell move, the Tacoma midsize truck, currently manufactured alongside the Tundra in Texas, will move entirely to the Mexican facilities Toyota Guanajuato (TMMGT) and Toyota Baja California (TMMBC) starting in late-2021.
The production shift to Mexico will likely free up production space in San Antonio for the Sequoia. The Guanajuato and Baja California plants currently build the Tacoma, supplementing San Antonio production. But starting in 2021, all North American midsize truck assembly will be consolidated to Mexico, rather than split between Mexico and the U.S.
Switching Toyota Sequoia production to San Antonio will help streamline the company's production plans. Moving to its platform-mate's manufacturing facility frees up valuable assembly line real estate in Indiana for the more popular Highlander (as well as the closely related next-generation Sienna). And since the Tacoma is already built in the two Mexico facilities, migrating production of the popular midsize pickup there isn't likely to cause any headaches for the company.
For its part, Toyota has committed to spending $13 billion in its U.S. operations over a five-year period ending in 2021. Currently, the company has invested about $7.1 billion of the announced total, leaving more than $5 billion left to spend before the end of next year. The company currently employs more than 36,000 people in the U.S. and 47,000 in North America, with 15 total North American manufacturing plants (including 10 in the U.S. alone).