Given all the hoopla surrounding Toyota and its publicized recalls, it probably isn’t surprising that many products, including the Tacoma are essentially marking time. But in an effort to standardize quality and production processes, Toyota has moved Tacoma production to the same Texas plant that builds the Tundra.
The above picture shows a pilot batch of new 2011 Tacomas undergoing final checks at TMMTI (Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas Inc.) – production versions began rolling off the line last week and will shortly be shipping to dealers. The only noticeable change is a simpler grille pattern with a single, center mounted bar, as opposed to the twin bar design found on 2010 models. The design is a carry-over from the new 2010 4Runner. A flexible manufacturing process at the Texas plant now allows both Tacomas and Tundras to roll down the line back to back if necessary in response to consumer demand.
And with the demise of the Ford Ranger and the GMC twins, the Tacoma and Nissan Frontier will be the only remaining true pickups on the market not classed as full-size trucks, giving them a chance to acquire more customers in the segment. However as much as the Tacoma has received acclaim for its engineering features and capability, it’s relatively high price continues to be sore point among a segment of truck buyers.