Toyota Motor (TM) has revealed that it will add a second production shift at its San Antonio Tundra pick-up truck assembly plant in Texas by February next year as inventories with the dealers have dried up. The addition of the shift will require 850 more workers at the plant.
The Japanese auto major has commented that it will hire new workers at the plant in addition to 75 ex-workers, who are being recalled as part of the ramp-up in employment.
In August, Toyota Motor announced its plan to shift production of the smaller Tacoma truck from California to San Antonio in 2010. The automaker plans to run its first online production trial for the Tacoma at the San Antonio plant in the next year spring. Altogether, the company has received more than 14,000 job applications in San Antonio for Tundra and Tacoma production.
Toyota has been battered financially by the economic crisis. The company posted its first annual loss (¥437 billion or $4.4 billion) since 1950 for the fiscal year ended March 2009. Further, management has recently projected net loss to worsen to ¥550 billion ($5.5 billion) for the fiscal year ending March 2010.
However, the recently ended Cash for Clunkers program strengthened the demand for Toyota’s fuel-efficient vehicles in the U.S. The program, launched by the U.S. Government in late July, allowed consumers to trade in their old gas-guzzling cars and trucks with a mileage of 18 miles per gallon or less for a value of up to $3,500–$4,500.
Toyota ruled the roost in the Clunkers program, boasting 3 models among the top 10 buys under the program. These are the Toyota Corolla (ranked first), Toyota Camry (ranked third) and Toyota Prius (ranked seventh). In terms of market share, Toyota led with 19.4% of all Clunkers sales. We continue to recommend the shares of Toyota as Neutral.
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