Toyota will need to ramp up production capacity for its pickup trucks in the near future to keep up with demand.
Compared to the truck titans of Detroit, the company sells a slim sum every year. From 2009 to 2011, the brand sold fewer than 100,000 of its half-ton Tundra. Last year, the company broke past that mark for the first time since 2008 by selling 101,621. Sales numbers aren’t drastically better, but through last year they exceeded total 2012 sales.
Toyota introduced a new version of its truck for the 2014 model year with a revised body and the same powertrain as its previous generation. Forecasting an upswing in demand, Toyota division general manager Bill Fay told Automotive News that he thinks the company could sell as many as 137,000 Tundras next year. In order to meet that forecast, Toyota would need to ramp up production at its San Antonio, Texas plant where the trucks are built. “We are evaluating our footprint and capacity,” Fay told Automotive News.
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The increasing demand isn’t just for the Tundra. Fay also said dealers are asking for more Tacoma mid-size trucks as well. Combined sales for the two products through last month climbed close to 250,000, which is roughly the limit for how many Toyota’s San Antonio plant can build every year.
The company hasn’t decided to expand its plant there yet. “We have 2008 and 2009 fresh in our minds, when the pickup market dropped from 2.5 million to 1.1 million, ” Fay said.