Toyota to add Saturday shifts at San Antonio site to ramp up output

Article by Anita Panait, on January 18, 2012

Toyota Motor Corp. will add Saturday shifts at its San Antonio pickup truck plant for the next three months to enhance supply to dealers having inventory problems. The Saturday shift will commence on Jan. 21 until the end of March. Toyota expects its inventory to return to normal levels in March, Toyota spokesman Mike Goss said.

The effects of the tsunami have run its course and we are back to rolling at full capacity of production," said Brandyn Moore, a spokeswoman for the San Antonio site, which assembles the Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks. Moore said that the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan resulted in a global shortage of key components, which includes sensors and specialty paint.

The disaster caused the San Antonio plant to become idle in two three-week periods. The plant was also forced to implement a shortened three-day schedule for 11 weeks over the summer. To cope with the shortage, Toyota hiked capacity at some of its North American plants in the fall. Toyota hopes inventory will be "where it needs to be" by the end of March.

Toyota dealers have an average of 40-day supply of Tacoma, well below Toyota's target of about 70 days, Goss said. Tundra inventories, meanwhile, are at around 70 days. The increased capacity will also help Toyota meet demand, following positive sale results for trucks in the US in December.

Toyota’s Tacoma remains to be – by a wide margin – the top-selling compact pickup truck in the United States. For 2010 alone, the carmaker sold more than 106,000 units of Tacoma, outselling its strongest competitor nearly two-to-one.

However, for 2012, the Toyota Tacoma features a fresh face, both outside and inside. For its new models, the Tacoma offers a restyled exterior and an upgraded and redesigned interior. These new changes reflect added comfort, audio and infotainment performance, and usability.

Among other exterior changes, the new Tacoma boasts a redesigned hood, headlamps, front bumper, and grille. Meanwhile, inside, you will admire the new design for its center-instrument panel, which features a revised gauge cluster and a new steering wheel. The redesigned center stack also adds new power point locations and air conditioner/heater controls.

What’s more, the interior of the 2012 Tacoma also showcases a new look with its black high-contrast center console, dashboard and upper door trim, and switch place covers. The SR5 grade sports a new seat fabric design. The new Tacoma Double Cab and Access Cab models also offer new heavy-duty all-weather flooring, since owners use their trucks for both hard play and hard work. Meanwhile, the more specialized Off-Road and TRD Sport models feature seats protected with water-resistant fabric. Additionally, the 2012 TRD Sport Package showcases side mirrors that have turn-signal lamps, as well as available 18-inch chrome-clad wheels.

More comfort and function are also achieved by the 2012 Tacoma through other details like higher-resolution and larger display for its available back-up camera, available rear-view mirror complete with compass and HomeLink, a new temperature gauge, vanity lamps on the sun visors, and additional overhead storage compartment. The Tacoma Access Cab models, on the other hand, feature a new rear-console storage box. All of the 2012 Tacoma models now convey added versatility with two front-deck “D” rings.

You can choose from a wide variety of 2012 Toyota Tacoma configurations and models. This particular focus on customer choice has been key in Tacoma’s continued market leadership. Many of the Tacoma models offer you a choice between V6 and four-cylinder engines, as well as between 4WD and 2WD drivetrains.

Other than being the best-selling in its segment, the Toyota Tacoma has been recognized repeatedly for its reliability and outstanding value. In fact, the Tacoma was named by J.D. Power & Associates as the "Most Dependable Midsize Pickup" in its 2011 Vehicle Dependability Study. Intellichoice also recognized the Tacoma as the "2011 Best Overall Value" in its segment.

Topics: toyota, production

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