Ten years ago this fall, Toyota Motors broke ground in the heart of pickup country for the Toyota Texas Assembly plant located on San Antonio's South Side. The 2,000 acre parcel of land chosen for the venture was the site of the former Walsh-Small Ranch, founded in 1794 when Juan Ignacio Perez de Casanova received a Spanish Land Grant between Leon Creek and the Medina River, and purported to be the oldest cattle ranch in the Lone Star State.
Originally intended as just an assembly plant, during construction Toyota Motors Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) developed into a full-blown automotive production facility that included a number of on-site suppliers.
By all accounts, with an annual production capacity of 200,000 units the millionth Tundra should've rolled off the line sometime in late 2011 or early 2012. The auto industry, however, can be a fickle taskmaster and a surge in oil prices plus an economic downturn threw a wrench into those projections.
But that, as they say, was then.
This past Wednesday morning, according to a press release, "the 2,800 team members at Toyota Texas celebrated the milestone of assembling the plant's one millionth truck."
Not coincidentally (there are none in this age of computer-based vehicle assembly operations), pickup number one million just happened to be a Sunset Bronze Mica colored, 1794 Edition Tundra – the penultimate Tundra trim named in honor of the Walsh-Small Ranch's founding year.
"We are grateful for our loyal customers across North America who tell us they love driving Texas-built Tacomas and Tundras," said Chris Nielsen, president of Toyota Texas. "It makes me incredibly proud of our team members and 21 on-site suppliers every time I see one of our trucks on the road knowing that safety and quality are built into every one of them."
TMMTX quick facts
For those of you so inclined, here are some interesting stats concerning Toyota Motors Manufacturing Texas:
• If you lined up the one million trucks Toyota Texas has produced, it would stretch approximately 3,700 miles; or approximately from The Alamo to Honolulu, Hawaii.
• The redesigned 2014 Tundra is among Toyota's most American vehicle ever. Styling was completed by Calty Design Research centers in Newport Beach, Calif., and Ann Arbor, Mich.; and it was engineered by the Toyota Technical Center, also in Ann Arbor.
• V6 and V8 engines for all Tacomas and Tundras are manufactured at Toyota's Huntsville, Ala., engine plant; all transmissions are manufactured in Durham, N.C.
• Production at the plant began in October 2006 with the Tundra. Tacoma production was added in the summer of 2010.
• 21 on-site suppliers, who employ 2,900, have had a big hand in ensuring that quality, durability and reliability are built into every truck.
Come on down
For those so inclined, free weekday plant tours are available to the public. Please visit www.ToyotaTexas.com for more information.