Toyota is planning to slow down Tundra and Sequoia production in late spring at its Indiana and Texas manufacturing plants.
Even mighty Toyota is not immune to the same economic forces buffeting all the auto companies – with the economy in a recession and gasoline reaching record prices, the demand for full-size trucks (Tundra) and full-size SUVs (Sequoia) has tapered off considerably. Full-size truck sales in the U.S. declined 103,558 in the first two months of 2008 compared to the same two months in 2007.
Therefore Toyota has made the decision to pinch off some production on a temporary basis in order to better match supply to demand. Toyota stated the slowdown will occur this spring and emphasized that there would be no layoffs as a result; the line workers will simply make fewer vehicles per hour in their respective plants.
The Sienna minivan, which is also built in the Indiana plant on a separate line, is unaffected by the slowdown plan.
Here’s an example of the math Toyota is up against: The Texas plant in San Antonio, which is only part of the Tundra production, can push out about 25,000 Tundras a month. Total U.S. sales of the Tundra last month were 14,400.
We’re producing the vehicle based on customer demand,” said Victor Vanov, a spokesman for Toyota’s North American manufacturing arm. Vanov said that demand has slowed due to “fuel prices, [and] the whole economic shake-out.”
Toyota cannot be happy, as they had very high hopes for the Tundra in terms of sales, but it’s not as if consumers have singled out the Tundra for poor treatment; full-size pickups are really taking it on the chin in the current economic environment. It could be a very bad year for pickup sales.
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