We’ve finally got some Toyota Tundra news to report. Toyota announced today that it is investing $391 million in its truck plant in San Antonio, Texas. That means we are getting closer to the all-new Tundra which we wish was in 2020 as a 2021 model. Unfortunately, it looks like the new Tundra won’t be out until 2021 as a 2022 truck.
Toyota says it will “introduce advanced manufacturing technologies” to the assembly line according to Automotive News.
Tundra And Tacoma To Share Platforms
The other part of this announcement is that Toyota plans on building both its Tundra and Tacoma on the same line, and with the same platform. We don’t know how Toyota will parse the midsize Tacoma and full-size Tundra with the shared platform, which is called “F1.” Toyota plans to utilize the platform globally for all trucks no matter the size.
With this latest investment included Toyota will have invested over $3 billion in the San Antonio plant. Anyone thinking that Toyota might get out of the truck business or thinks it doesn’t make a lot from truck sales will now understand Toyota is all in on trucks.
New Tundra To Be Hybrid
Heavily disguised test mules have been spotted in different places over the last year or so, indicating Toyota is close to producing an all-new Tundra. While styling will be evolutionary, we know it will be a hybrid. We also know that Toyota has been testing either a coil spring or airbag rear suspension to replace the existing leaf spring setup.
As for engines, Toyota is working on a twin-turbo V6 that is based on the 3.5-liter currently found in the Lexus LS500. Whether it makes it into the next Tundra is still a question. Expect the current six-speed automatic transmission to get pitched for an eight- or 10-speed automatic.
In the US Tundra sales have been consistently above 100,000 trucks per year for years. Though nowhere near Ford’s almost one-million F150 trucks per year, it’s nothing to scoff at. The other thing to remember is that the Tundra has only seen minor facelifts since first being introduced in 2007. So, the Tundra was actually in development in the early-2000s. That’s almost 20 years. Do you think things have changed a bit with pickup trucks in 20 years? Do you think Toyota has amortized its tooling in 12 years? The answer? Yes!
Tundra sales are up over 2% year over year, and Tacoma sales are up almost 5%. A refreshed 2020 Tacoma was shown at the Chicago Auto Show in February. It will shift over to the F1 platform by 2024.
Tundra Built In Texas
Currently, both the Tundra and Tacoma share the same assembly line in San Antonio so that won’t change. But Toyota also has two assembly lines in Mexico making Tundras. All truck production will be concentrated at the San Antonio plant when the new Tundra and Tacoma share the new truck platform, as assembly will be less complicated with all of the common parts.