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San Antonio Toyota Plant Loses Tacoma, Gains Sequoia SUV

A worker uses a lift-assist device to install a dashboard at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas plant in San Antonio.
Jimmy Maas | KUT
A worker uses a lift-assist device to install a dashboard at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas plant in San Antonio.

Toyota has announced plans to phase out production of Tacoma pickup trucks at its South Side San Antonio assembly plant, according to a news release from the company. 

Production of the Tacoma will shut down by late 2021 and will move to Mexico, but production of the Sequoia SUV begins in 2022.

No job losses are expected, said local economic experts.

The president and CEO of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation — Jenna Saucedo-Herrera — said Toyota is just staying abreast of the latest market trends.

“You can look at any sort of industry data that shows that trucks are skewing more positively and this is just Toyota’s positioning in that market. They want to grow their market share for the large trucks and SUVs,” she said.

Last summer, the Japan-based vehicle maker announced plans to spend $391,000,000 dollars on the South Side plant in order to produce multiple vehicle lines.

The $3 billion facility employees 3,200 workers and rolls out 200,000 vehicles a year.

Saucedo-Herrera said San Antonio is becoming a major hub in North America for production of large private and commercial trucks.

“Obviously with investments from Toyota and investments from Navistar, but both of those large organizations require extensive supplier networks around them,” she said.

Commercial truck and bus manufacturer Navistar, based in Lisle, Illinois, announced plans late last year to build a $250 million San Antonio plant and hire 600 workers.

Construction on the South Side Navistar facility near Mitchell Lake is expected to take a couple of years.

Toyota supplier Aisin AW, based in Anjo City, Japan, has plans to build transmissions at a new Cibolo-based facility and hire 900 workers. Production is expected to begin in September 2021.

Correction: An earlier version of this story listed the wrong number of employees at the Toyota plant in San Antonio. The correct number of employees is 3,200.

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at Brian@TPR.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian.