Automotive News: Toyota To Slow Tundra Production
By: Mike Levine Posted: 03-13-08 14:20 PT
© 2008

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Automotive News is reporting that Toyota will reduce the number of Tundra full size pickups it builds to manage slowing sales of the half-ton truck.

February 2008 was a poor sales month for almost the entire industry, though Tundra sales rose 62.2% year to date over 2007. So why the slow down?

The introduction of the all new Toyota Tundra last year was timed with the opening of a second truck plant in San Antonio, Texas. The San Antonio facility can build up to 200,000 Tundras a year, depending on demand, while the original Princeton, Indiana plant can produce 100,000 a year. So even though Tundra sales are up relative to the year before, there's also newly built capacity that's underutilized.

Toyota spokesperson Joe Tetherow told Thursday afternoon that the move is a prudent business adjustment to help match supply with demand and factory capacity.

"We're adjusting production to coincide with the market," says Mr. Tetherow.

Toyota's move follows similar production decreases by GM, Ford, and Chrysler late last year and early this year in response to slowing demand for full size pickups. Some of those manufacturing adjustments resulted in temporary factory shut-downs.

Mr. Tetherow is still optimistic about the Tundra's overall sales target for the year, saying, "The sales goal for the Tundra is to still sell 200,000 (units in 2008)."

Last year Toyota sold 196,555 Tundras.

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