Toyota San Antonio Starts Production

0 Metro | State

The Toyota truck plant in Texas has started production. For all of the talk this week from the Big 3 about yen/dollar valuations and advantages that Toyota has with importing vehicles, it sure is strange that Toyota would keep building plants here in North America, right?

CNBC had a report yesterday and had a panel discussing this, the topic on screen about the Big 3 was something like:

“Lousy cars or currency valuations?”

Back to Toyota:

In January, Toyota will start shipping trucks to distributors. Toyota plans to get at least four trucks to each of its 1,200 dealers during the week of Feb. 12. Officials are mindful that 2006 models of the Tundra still are being built at Texas' “mother” plant, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, and it wants to sell those trucks before the 2007s go on sale.

Here is an earlier article about the media unveiling of the plant.

Toyota will ramp up the plant slowly, focusing on quality:

A Tundra will roll off the assembly line every 73 seconds, which is still below the rate needed to hit the plant's planned capacity of 200,000 trucks a year. There are plenty of gaps along the assembly line and workers stand around a little more than they do in a mature plant. But it's all part of the maturation process.

“The assembly line is moving quite slowly,” Miller said. “It's moving at the rate we wish it to, to make sure everyone is comfortable with their jobs.”

The article talks about a change in part presentation:

Parts no longer are lined up exclusively to the side of the assembly line. Workers now get “kits” that contain all the parts they'll need to work on a particular truck through a particular section of the line.

Toyota Texas President Hidehiko “T.J.” Tajima said kitting is a common practice in Japan, where seven or eight different vehicles are being built along one line.

Tajima said it makes sense to use kits here, even though there is only one vehicle built on the line.

“We have variations of cabs, variations of (beds), and each variation means more than one truck,” he said.

The second article also talks about the value of on-site suppliers for the Toyota plant.

More articles via google.

Please check out my main blog page at

The RSS feed content you are reading is copyrighted by the author, Mark Graban.

, , , on the author's copyright.

What do you think? Please scroll down (or click) to post a comment. Or please share the post with your thoughts on LinkedIn – and follow me or connect with me there.

Did you like this post? Make sure you don't miss a post or podcast — Subscribe to get notified about posts via email daily or weekly.

Check out my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation:

Get New Posts Sent To You

Select list(s):
Previous articleUpdated Standard Work
Next article“No Satisfaction” at Toyota
Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.