After 26 years of producing vehicles for General Motors and Toyota, the New United Motor Manufacturing Incorporated is no more. The joint venture officially built its last vehicle yesterday morning.
Located in Fremont, California, the plant was first opened by GM in 1962. After years of sagging quality and notorious working conditions, the auto giant teamed with Toyota in 1984 to repurpose the plant, and attempt to learn the ways of team-based assembly and quality control. Early products included the Chevrolet Nova and Toyota Corolla, and ultimately cars like the Geo Prism, Pontiac Vibe, and Toyota Tacoma.
GM officially withdrew from the venture during its bankruptcy -- a logical decision, as it was simultaneously killing the only brand selling a NUMMI-built product (Pontiac). Toyota wasn't interested in operating the plant on its own, and announced earlier this year that it would shutter the facility.
The last vehicle built in NUMMI -- a red Corolla -- was escorted down the line by some of the plant's 4700 employees. Although most NUMMI-built models are destined for the North American market, this particular example will be shipped overseas, where it will become part of the collection at Toyota's museum near Nayoga, Japan.
Although EV startup Aurica Motors was trying to take over the site to produce small electric cars, that plan seems to have fallen by the wayside. Next week, 200 workers are expected to return to the site to disassemble the line and clean up the facility.
Source: Mercury News