In November, the first new Tundra pickups came off the assembly line at San Antonio’s Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas plant. We now have realized the thousands of new, well-paying jobs that Toyota’s announcement promised in early 2003. But while the jobs are welcome news, much of the promise of Toyota’s arrival has yet to be seen.
Mario Hernandez of the Economic Development Foundation claimed the announcement would “focus the world’s attention on San Antonio.” A February 2003 Express-News editorial hailed Toyota as promising a “new progressive era for San Antonio,” calling on readers to “imagine San Antonio 10 years from now as a city with abundant high-paying jobs.” From this seat, that sure doesn’t seem to be on the horizon. Local leaders also promised that the new Toyota plant would reshape the South Side, leading to a wave of development. Haven’t seen that either, although the land speculators have had a great time. Maybe next year.