Toyota celebrates 10 years of insourcing trucks in Texas with huge charitable donation
Toyota has been building trucks in Texas now for ten years. In October 2003 the “foreign” car company decided that the ridiculous 25% “chicken tax” import tariff on imported light trucks could be overcome by manufacturing in the heart of truck country USA. Now that ten years have passed Toyota is marking the occasion by donating a truck to ten local charities.
The ten charities that will benefit from the gift are:
• Christian Senior Services Meals on Wheels
• Floresville Independent School District
• Habitat For Humanity of San Antonio
• Northside Independent School District
• San Antonio College, Challenger Center
• San Antonio Fire Department
• San Antonio River Foundation
• Somerset Independent School District
• Southwest Independent School District
• South San Antonio Independent School District
Each will receive a Texas-made Tacoma or Tundra. However, that is only one way that Toyota contributes to the Texas community. 2,900 Texans are directly employed by Toyota in the making of its trucks, and counting the 21 local suppliers that have moved into the area to support production fully 6,000 Texan families rely on Toyota for employment. Commenting on the 10 year anniversary Texas Governor Rick Perry said “Toyota has proven to be a solid partner for the State of Texas and a valued member of the community of San Antonio. Since ground was broken a decade ago, Toyota has been instrumental in jumpstarting our economic development efforts, which have been wildly successful at attracting jobs from across the country and around the world. The First Lady and I wish everyone at Toyota continued success over the next 10 years and beyond in Texas.”
At the time very few were of the opinion that trucks made by Toyota in the USA would be a hit. That still continues today to some degree, but Toyota is committed to local manufacturing and it builds what local markets want. Interestingly, many automotive journalists miss the point of the Texas-made Tacoma and Tundras. Many “Truck-guys” who write dismiss Toyota’s efforts since they are the number four largest full size pickup truck maker in the US and either third or fourth if the smaller Tacoma is factored in. One of America’s largest car magazines actually wrote that it didn’t understand why Toyota does not throw in the towel since it is fourth. The 6,000 Americans who make the Tacoma and Tundra might have a different view of that sentiment. Also, the approximately 250,000 Americans that purchase a Toyota truck each year view it as the best vehicle for their needs. That volume makes the Toyota truck business approximately the third largest of all the vehicle markets Toyota competes in here in the US after the Corolla and Camry size vehicles. Toyota is number one in sales in both those vehicle markets. Toyota Truck sales are up approximately 11% this year.