Toyota’s Move to Truck Country, Texas

July 23rd, 2015 by admin

toyota-texas

As part of Toyota’s “Southern strategy,” the company announced last year that it’s relocating workers from facilities in California, New York and Kentucky to Plano, Texas. Toyota assembles Tacoma and Tundra pickups in Texas and also manufactures cars in Kentucky and Mississippi. The decision to centralize U.S. headquarters in Texas is influenced by the need to streamline operations, the state’s reputation as truck country and the need to change company culture.

A total of approximately 4,000 full-time employees and hundreds of contractors began relocating last year and the process will happen in phases through 2017. Rival Nissan made a similar move in 2006, but ended up losing over 50% of its Los Angeles-based staff in the relocation to Nashville. Consolidating these divisions also means restructuring the organization and it remains to be seen how it will impact production of their flagship off-road vehicles, Tundra and Tacoma trucks.

Tacomas are near the top of the list of trucks comprised in America and according to a 2014 Edmunds list, Tundras tied for number one along with Ford F-150s and Honda Ridgelines. The large model pickup is built in San Antonio, Texas and key parts like the Tundra’s engine and transmission are also built domestically. With approximately 75% of its materials sourced from America, the truck’s welding, painting, stamping and moulding happens here, too.

toyota-tundra

According to Toyota’s website, the Tundra is assembled in Texas with U.S. and globally sourced parts. The Tundra TRD Pro Series trucks are outfitted with tuned suspensions and Bilstein shocks and currently styled in Michigan and California. When that operation moves to Texas, it remains to be seen how it will affect truck design and sales.

Tundras consistently rank among the top full-size pickups and are cited for their spaciousness and excellent off-road ability. As Toyota’s flagship truck, the 2014 model received a fresh design and the 1794 Edition Tundra was introduced. 1794 refers to the year the Texas ranch where the truck is assembled was established by a Spanish colonist.

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