The $800 million that Toyota Motor Corp. plans to invest in south Texas will buy the company more than a new truck factory - it also is a down payment on increased Texas market share.
When it comes to truck sales, Texas is the mother lode. Last year, Texas retailers delivered 847,969 trucks, or nearly 10 percent of the country's total, according to R.L. Polk & Co. When it comes to full-sized pickups and SUVs, the state's consumers bought one-fifth of the U.S. total.
The statistics were key factors in Toyota's decision last week to build a factory near San Antonio. The plant will give Toyota an additional 150,000 full-sized Tundras a year starting in 2006.
The San Antonio site will be Toyota's sixth manufacturing site in North America. It has plants in Georgetown, Ky.; Princeton, Ind.; Cambridge, Ontario; and the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. joint venture with General Motors in Fremont, Calif. It also plans to open a compact truck assembly plant in Baja California, Mexico, in 2005.