Advertisement
Find a Car
Go!

Toyota Pinched by Truck Slump, Too


Toyota Tundra

Toyota Tundra

Enlarge Photo
Regular readers of TheCarConnection.com have gotten used to the daily barrage of news and headlines trumpeting the impact of record oil prices on Big Three truck sales. But Detroit makers aren't the only ones feeling the pinch. After delaying the launch of a new plant intended to build its next-generation SUV/crossover, Toyota is facing up to the fact that even its trucks are vulnerable to the slowdown.

The automaker has announced it will slow production in the coming months at two of its already operating U.S. plants. The automaker's factory in San Antonio, the primary source for the Tundra pickup, will see a reduction in line speed, as well as 14 days of shutdown between now and October. Meanwhile, line speeds will also be trimmed at Toyota's Princeton, Indiana, plant, where the automaker has scheduled six days of shutdowns between now and late August.

The automaker will switch to a seven-hour assembly shift at the plants, starting in July. Workers will also put in an hour of training for each shift.

A key to Toyota's success has been to operate its plants at or above 100 percent of straight-time capacity, notes a Wall Street Journal article. The cuts mean Toyota will face the same underutilization issue that has plagued its big Three rivals and will likely lessen, or perhaps eliminate, any profits the automaker could earn at those plants.

Complicating matters, the Texas factory is designed to produce just Tundras, a sharp switch from the flexible manufacturing system Toyota uses virtually everywhere else in its empire.

Toyota has been forced to offer Detroit-level incentives on some of its big trucks in recent months, another sharp detour from its normal practices and a further strain on what it had hoped would be a year of solid profits from the North American market.
Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (2)
  1. I guess in hindsight, Toyota probably could have spent $1 Billion dollars a better way than to build a pickup truck plant. I wonder if they achieved a one year payback?
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  2. They got greedy, Toyota wanted a slice of the dumb, inefficient, full size pickup market, and I am mightly glad they got what they deserved.
    PS so did Nissan with its ludicrous "Titan"
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement
Advertisement
New Car Price Quotes
Update ZIP
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.
Try My Showroom
Save cars, write notes, and comparison shop with hi-res photos.
Add your first car
Take Us With You!
   
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
Advertisement

 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.