Toyota has announced it will invest $150 million into its assembly plant in Tijuana, Mexico to boost production of the Tacoma pickup.
In a statement, the automaker said that the investment will help expand the plant to build about 160,000 vehicles annually by late 2017 or early 2018, a significant 60 per cent increase over existing production figures.
According to Toyota Motor North America chief executive Jim Lentz, “Demand for trucks has grown exponentially. By leveraging our manufacturing facilities’ availability and expertise, we can be nimbler and better adjust to market needs in a just-in-time manner.”
Toyota’s decision to increase production of the Tacoma comes despite fact that its share in the midsize pickup truck market has fallen to 43 per cent this year, eight per cent less than 2015. This is largely because of the successful launches of the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and Honda Ridgeline.
Currently, the Mexican facility runs 24 hours a day Monday to Friday and has two further production shifts on Saturday. Toyota’s facility in San Antonio also builds the Tacoma, creating about 111,000 units last year.