There are a variety of main penalties springboarding off the early August 2017 announcement that Toyota and Mazda would come collectively to construct an meeting plant in Someplace, United States.
First, Mazda manufacturing returns to the US for the primary time for the reason that Mazda 6 left Flat Rock, Michigan, in 2012.
Second, the Toyota Corolla — produced now in Cambridge, Ontario, and Blue Springs, Mississippi — will likely be assembled in a second U.S. meeting plant.
Third, Toyota will purchase a 5-percent stake in Mazda, whereas Mazda returns the favor by claiming a zero.25-percent portion of Toyota.
And to the more and more pickup-truck-conscious U.S. shopper, essentially the most important consequence of the Toyota-Mazda partnership will likely be extra Toyota Tacomas. That’s proper: extra pickup vehicles for America.
Toyota, in fact, is already renovating its Tijuana, Mexico meeting plant for a 60-percent manufacturing improve of Mexico-built Tacomas, having beforehand elevated the variety of shifts at Toyota’s truck plant in San Antonio, Texas.
However with a brand new Mazda-shared manufacturing unit approaching line within the U.S., the Toyota Corolla that was going to be constructed at Toyota’s upcoming Guanajuato, Mexico facility will as an alternative be assembled north of the Rio Grande. Meaning Toyota will construct much more Tacomas in Mexico, this time at a plant designed to supply 200,000 Corollas.
Granted, Toyota gained’t add 200,000 Tacomas to its present capability (160,000 Tijuana Tacomas and 135,000 Texas Tacomas), however Toyota clearly intends to earn again a hefty chunk of the market share it misplaced to Common Motors over the past two years. But in accordance with Toyota’s North American CEO Jim Lentz, the rationale the Tacoma hasn’t been capable of generate higher gross sales development within the latest previous is solely right down to a scarcity of provide.
“Proper now in the event you ask our sellers what’s the No. 1 car we’d like extra of, what are prospects coming in [to buy] and we don’t have sufficient to produce their wants, it’s Tacoma.”However San Antonio, Tijuana, and Guanajuato? Is there not a risk of getting too many Tacomas?
Toyota is so removed from having too many who extreme provide shouldn’t be on the record of near-term considerations. Automobiles.com lists fewer than 20,000 Tacomas in inventory, or about 29 days of provide. In an business that believes 60 days is good, the Tacoma’s relative shortage on vendor tons is problematic.
Toyota will face extra challenges within the midsize truck market, nonetheless, with the upcoming Ford Ranger due in 2019. Toyota’s objective, proper across the time the Ranger comes on stream, is to beat that problem by flooding the market with Tacomas in a manner the corporate shouldn’t be presently able to doing.
Toyota set a U.S. Tacoma gross sales document in 2015 and broke it in 2016, however gross sales are solely barely higher than flat via the primary seven months of 2017 as a result of Toyota doesn’t have sufficient Tacomas to really meet demand. Toyota nonetheless owns 43 % of America’s midsize truck market, however that’s down from 65 % in 2013, when opponents had been few and much between.
With a Mazda cohabiting association, Jim Lentz tells Automotive Information, “This will get me pickup capability faster than the rest as a result of I’ve already obtained a plant beneath development.” Not misplaced in Toyota’s transfer to open up the faucets on an enormous quantity of Tacoma capability, in fact, is the transfer of future Corolla manufacturing from a plant that would construct 200,000 per yr in Mexico to a Mazda-shared U.S. plant the place 150,000 Corollas may be assembled.
Extra pickup vehicles? Sorely wanted. Extra sedans? Not a lot.
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Fact About Automobiles and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.web. Comply with on Twitter @timcaincars.