Did you know that one of the requirements in NASCAR is that the vehicle brand represented on the track must be, under their rules, “American-made.” When Toyota petitioned NASCAR in 2002 to join the truck-racing series, Toyota officials had to demonstrate that the Tundra was assembled in Indiana and that Toyota as a company had a strong American presence with more than 30,000 workers employed throughout the country.
Toyota engineers based in California then developed a pushrod V8 engine with carburetor induction to satisfy the rules. In 2004, Toyota entered the Craftsman Truck Series (now called Camping World Truck Series) and the Tundra has won the manufacturer’s points championship four of the last five years.
In other words, Tundra wouldn’t be allowed to race NASCAR if the sanctioning body didn’t consider the truck to be “American–made,” under their rules.
The Tundra will no longer be produced in Indiana as production has shifted to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX). This 220,000-square-foot facility outside of San Antonio opened in 2006 and employs more than 2,000 workers. Another 2,000 workers are employed by numerous suppliers that set up shop on the plant grounds to produce parts specifically for the Tundra.
Besides NASCAR, Tundra is a part of many other activities with rich American heritage. The Tundra races off-road in SCORE and CORR competitions. Tundra is heavily involved in professional bass fishing by sponsoring numerous high-profile anglers at national championship events. Tundra dealers are often found sponsoring or contributing to local recreation and charity activities.
The majority of Tacomas are also assembled in the United States at the NUMMI plant in Fremont, California–which is operated under an agreement with General Motors. Tacoma’s D cab is produced in Baja, Mexico, where all the truck’s cargo beds are manufactured.