At the Disney stockholder meeting on March 18, 2014, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Pixar had begun pre-production on Cars 3.
It was previously assumed that Pixar would order a third film in the Cars franchise after the box office and merchandising success of Cars 2. On August 17, 2013, voice actor Michael Wallis told radio audiences that Cars 3 would take place on California's Route 99. In October 2014, John Lasseter revealed at the Tokyo International Film Festival that the film will feature a tribute to Hayao Miyazaki's film The Castle of Cagliostro in a form of an old Citroën 2CV.
According to the 2015 São Paulo Disney Expo, the film's release may be in 2018. On July 20, 2015, while being interviewed by Autoweek, Lasseter stated that the film's release should be summer 2018 or 2019. On October 8, 2015, it was confirmed to be June 16, 2017.