Toyota’s decision to move Tacoma production to San Antonio is most likely good news for the future of the Tundra. Still, the case can be made that this move signals danger. Tundra sales are down and Toyota executives have been less than positive about the vehicle. Moving production of the Tacoma to Texas could be a sign that the Tundra is on the way out.
To be clear, we believe the Tundra is here to stay. Still, there are quite a few reasons for Toyota to walk away from the Tundra completely:
The Wall Street Journal and the Contra Costa Times are both reporting that NUMMI will close in March 2010, at which time Toyota will move production of the Corolla to Canada and the production of the Tacoma to San Antonio.
Our best to employees at NUMMI – this makes our earlier declaration that Toyota is closing NUMMI official.
So, now that Toyota has made the decision, what does this mean for the Tundra? Here’s the skinny:
Two months ago we posted an article about Toyota’s plan to manage the inventory of the Tundra very closely. The theory is that Toyota wants dealers to have barely enough Tundras to get by.
The trouble with “barely enough” is that it means different things to different people. For some, finding out that their local Toyota dealer has just 5 Tundras is disappointing. They want to buy a specific Tundra, and they want to buy it now.
The good news: despite the risks, Toyota’s strategy seems to be working – JD Power says that the Tundra is hot right now – check it out. Here’s why:
Here’s a good story about a 1st-gen Tundra that will get your motor going. Mark, who is from Northern Minnesota (the land of extreme conditions) has a 2000 Toyota Tundra with 415k miles on the original motor and transmission.
UPDATE: As of May 2010, Toyota has extended the warranty on 2000-2003 Tundra frames. Please see Toyota Tundra Frame Replacement Program for more details.
UPDATE (10/7/09) – NHTSA has begun investigating 2000-2001 Tundras for frame rust issues.
Last week the owner of a 2003 Toyota Tundra contacted us about significant rust on the frame of his 2003 Toyota Tundra. If the pictures aren’t shocking enough, the owner says the vehicle only has 62k miles:
“Have 2003 Tundra with rusted out frame and 62,000 miles. I can’t adjust alignment because the frame has fused with those parts. So much for my new tires. Cross members are also shot as well as rear bumper attachments. I love the truck, it’s just that it is now worthless and dangerous in this condition. Two years ago the gas filler pipe rusted out – what gives?”
The stark contrast between the rust on the frame and the nearly rust-free underside of the body panels is quite telling.