Parts crunch threatens Toyota’s efforts to boost pickup output

A cab frame is prepared at Toyota‘s San Antonio pickup plant, which is running at full speed to keep up with demand.

As Toyota Motor Corp. tries to squeeze more production out of its San Antonio pickup plant, the automaker has encountered a chronic production bottleneck: its own suppliers.

Fifteen key suppliers are running flat-out but are unable to support a planned production increase of 10,000 vehicles next year, said Bob Young, Toyota’s North American purchasing chief.

“Our suppliers have been stretched,” Young said in an interview last month. “We’ve hit the tipping point with certain commodities.”

The parts crunch comes as Toyota’s two truck plants — in San Antonio and Tijuana, Mexico — are running at full speed to keep up with demand.

This year through October, U.S. deliveries of Toyota’s midsize Tacoma pickup rose 17 percent to 148,905, as Toyota maintained a sales lead over the General Motors duo of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Can-yon, whose combined sales totaled 95,132.

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