Toyota proudly announced recently that they had built a record number of vehicles in North America last year with over two million Toyotas produced by their North American plants in 2015.
What they did not speak to is the fact that only two Toyota plants build trucks in North America and, with that segment becoming ever more important, build capacity at the two plants looked to us like it might present a supply problem in 2016 for their new mid-size Tacoma.
We dug into that and have learned that Toyota is going to be increasing North American truck plant capacity for 2016 – building enough of the new Tacoma mid-size along with the full-size Tundra for their customers in the new year.
Mid-Size Segment Growth
Overall, the re-energized mid-size pickup truck segment, crew cabs in particular, finished 2015 with North American mid-size sales of 356,886 units – up 48.4 percent from 2014. The new features and capabilities of mid-size pickups along with price points under $40,000 – plus they fit in a garage – are making them a very attractive alternative to more expensive full-size pickups when a SUV or CUV will not do.
Finishing 2015 very strong, the new Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup truck continues to lead that segment in the U.S. by a very substantial margin with over 50 percent market share. Tacoma sold 179,562 units driven – in part – by the arrival of their new generation Tacoma at midyear. In Canada, they sold another 11,772 Tacoma pickups – for a total of 191,334 trucks (up 15.9 percent from 2014) in North America.
The very good news is that they continued to lead the segment, selling trucks as fast as they could build them. The bad news (maybe) was that they ran right up to plant capacities in 2015 and are certainly looking at increasing demand for the new Tacoma pickup truck in 2016.
Toyota Trucks North America
Toyota builds Tacoma for North America at two plants, TMMTX (San Antonio, Texas) – where they share production with the Tundra – and TMMBC at Tijuana, Baja California in Mexico.
A review of the build and sale numbers for Toyota Tacoma (and full-size Tundra) for North America in 2015 shows that Toyota sold essentially every Tacoma or Tundra that they built in those two plants.
In 2015 Tacoma production (two plants) was 194,239 units for North American consumption with sales of 191,334 units and Tundra build was 121,999 units with sales of 129,700 units. Our information was that both plants were running full-out on their schedules in 2015 raising the question about Toyota truck capacity being able to meet demand in 2016.
Looking at those numbers, we went looking and have learned from sources in Toyota, that provision for capacity to build more trucks at the two plants in 2016 is already – or soon to be – underway.
So, the answer – in short – is yes, there will be plenty enough of the new Tacoma plus enough full-size Tundra pickups for customers in 2016.
Build Capacity By the Numbers
TMMTX production capacity is rated at 210,000 units annually, but – as we have reported before – Toyota manufacturing operations has been taking action over the last two years to ‘tweak’ production cycle time increasing their build capacity to near 230,000 units annually (combined Tacoma and Tundra). TMMBC, with earlier expansions was able to build 82,328 Tacoma units in 2015.
Here is the good news.
TMMBC expansions and continuing process improvements have brought its capacity to 90,000 units as it starts building 2016 models. Looking further ahead, Toyota will be shortly adding production at TMMBC, raising capacity by 16,000 units, to 106,000 trucks annually.
More good news comes from TMMTX in Texas, where they will be adding a Saturday shift by mid-year to raise their production capacity closer to 240,000 units annually.
Combined, TMMTX and TMMBC should be able to build nearly 350,000 Tacoma and Tundra trucks in 2016 which would support upwards of a 14 percent increase in the combined sales of Tacoma and Tundra trucks.
As for 2017, we expect Toyota is working on that as we speak and will keep us updated through the year. As we learn more about future production of Toyota trucks in North America, we will let you know.
For more on the mid-size segment in 2015 and a look ahead to 2016, click on the Suggested Links below for our report.