Toyota Motor will increase production at its new Mexican plant to 100,000 vehicles annually by 2021, marking a major step to move production of its popular Tacoma pickup truck to Mexico from the United States, the company stated on Thursday.
The plant located in the central state of Guanajuato, along with an older property near the U.S. border, will bring Toyota’s Mexican production to 266,000 trucks annually when at full capacity, the company said.
The automaker stated it expects to send 95% of pickups from the two plants to the United States, where the automaker sold almost 249,000 Tacomas last year, increasing 1.3%.
“Tacoma production will be concentrated right here in Mexico,” stated Christopher Reynolds, a chief administrative officer for Toyota in North America, at an event to inaugurate the plant.
“What this means is that the Mexican manufacturing facilities of Toyota will construct all the Tacomas that serve the mid-size pickup segment in the North American market.”
Toyota earlier said it would shift Tacoma production from the United States to Mexico as it adjusts production in North America.
The automaker has invested $700 million into the Guanajuato site, which started operating last December. Toyota started making Tacoma trucks in 2003 at its plant in Mexico’s northern border city of Tecate, where last year it turned out almost 167,000 pickups.
Automotive exports from Mexico dropped for the first time in a decade last year, due to weak demand from outside the United States, and industry groups project forecast decline in 2020.