At its Texas Motor Manufacturing facility just outside of San Antonio, Toyota manufactures both the Tacoma and Tundra pickups. The 4.2 million-square-foot facility’s 7,200 employees build an incredible 40 pickup models across the two platforms. For comparison, the Camry, Toyota’s best-seller and the best-selling car in America, has less than 10 models being made at the automaker’s Georgetown, Kentucky, facility.
The San Antonio plant produces a new Tacoma or Tundra every 60 seconds and is expected to produce about 260,000 trucks this year.
Toyota recently invited us inside this Texas facility, giving us a look at each of the plant’s three assembly areas, even inviting us inside the paint shop, allowing us to see each and every aspect of Tacoma/Tundra manufacturing. In the gallery above you’ll see the facility in the following order of assembly:
- Trim: The first assembly area is Trim, the first stop for a truck cab after it is painted. In this area, the cab receives all of the features associated with its trim level, such as leather seats, an upgraded audio/information system and more. Fun fact: while this is going on, the truck’s doors are removed and flown further down the line separately to meet back up with the truck later on.
- Chassis: Once a truck has been outfitted with its appropriate trim options, it moves on to be mated with the chassis. As you can see in the photos above, the San Antonio facility receives engines that are 80 percent complete from another Toyota facility in Huntsville, Alabama. These are mated with the chassis which is then installed beneath the truck before moving on to:
- Final: Once chassis and cab are mated, a truck’s battery, front bumper and center console are installed. The trucks go through extremely thorough final inspections before rolling off the line.
More Tacoma/Tundra manufacturing fun facts:
- Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas uses more than 400 robots on its assembly lines.
- One robot, affectionately called Godzilla by the San Antonio employees, can lift 1,500 pounds.
- The facility’s paint shop is three stories high and contains 90 of the facility’s robots.
- The facility’s plastic shop uses 3.2 million pounds of plastic per year and manufactures components through injection molding.
- Seventy percent of Toyota vehicles sold here in the U.S. are made here.
- The trucks have a domestic content of 75 percent, meaning three-fourths of their components are made here in the U.S.
- The San Antonio facility has 23 on-site suppliers.
- Seventy-three percent of all Toyota Tundras are built in the U.S., while 51 percent of all Tacoma’s are built here.