Toyota Motor has announced plans to shift all production out of its Tacoma pickup from Texas factory to a new production base in central Mexico. The company has another plant in Tijuana, where pickups are also manufactured.
Moreover, the Japanese giant car maker has also announced plans to invest $13 billion in the United States, which should also offset potential clashes from the local authorities in Texas, as well as Trump’s administration.
Despite the fact it is moving the Tacoma pickup production to Mexico, Toyota insists no U.S. jobs would be lost. The carmaker plans to start moving the assembling of the Sequoia SUV to San Antonio in the next two years.
“As a result of this production alignment, there will be no reduction to direct jobs at any of Toyota’s facilities across North America,” Toyota said in a statement.
Toyota’s announcement comes as no surprise given that the U.S. Senate approved the new USMCA trade deal between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, which replaces the old NAFTA agreement. Mexico hopes to increase car production this year, although the new trade deal includes more barriers for Mexico and its car-producing companies.
“The production changes are designed to group North American vehicle assembly plants based on shared platforms and common architectures to cut costs and improve operational speed and competitiveness,” it is further said in the statement.
A few days ago, the world’s biggest car seller said it had successfully completed a $1.3 billion modernization project at its Indiana facility. The second phase of the modernisation project, which costs around $700 million, included the addition of 150 new jobs, bringing the total number to around 7,000 workers.
Toyota now hopes that the new investments will help the company meet the strong demand for the Highlander, its new mid-size SUV. Its Indiana facility has the capacity to assemble more than 420,000 vehicles annually.
The company has also recalled around 700,000 vehicles, including some Lexus models, due to fuel pump issues.
“If a vehicle stall occurs while driving at higher speeds, this could increase the risk of a crash,” the company said in a statement.