First Tundra pickup rolls off line in San Antonio

The first all-new 2007 Tundra full-size pickup rolled off the assembly line at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc., on Friday. The line-off of the new Tundra marked the official grand opening of the $1.28-billion San Antonio plant. The plant will start with a one-shift operation, and add a second shift in the spring of 2007.

"The full-size pickup truck market is, by far, the single-largest opportunity for Toyota's future growth plans in the U.S.," said Don Esmond, senior vice president of automotive operations, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "Thanks to this highly-efficient plant, the on-site suppliers and all the team members, we plan to take full advantage of that opportunity. The new Tundra will arrive in showrooms in February.”

The factory is the most advanced that Toyota has yet built in the United States. TMMTX will be capable of producing approximately 200,000 new Tundras each year, with a crew of 2,000 team members working two shifts.

At a total cost of $1.28 billion, the result is 2.2 million square feet, or 46 acres, of main factory built to construct the 2007 Tundra from scratch, starting from coils of steel rolling into one end of the building and ending with trucks rolling out the other. The plant contains stamping, welding, paint, plastics and assembly facilities where TMMTX team members can build Tundras at a rate of up to about 750 per day.

On-site and fully integrated with the main plant are separate production and assembly facilities for 21 individual parts and component suppliers. That means that an additional 1.8 million square feet were constructed to house their operations and an additional 2,100 workers. There are many advantages to this arrangement, not the least of which is logistics costs. Traditionally, auto suppliers are located in the Midwest and South. Bringing them on-site reduces parts shipping costs. Parts are provided to the main Tundra production facility as they are needed. Little of what goes into the new Tundra is sourced from Japan: approximately 80 percent of the content is domestic.

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