Reports are emerging from Japan that Toyota has decided to end all production at California’s New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. plant, a move that would eliminate up to 4500 jobs.
Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reported over the weekend that Toyota has already started to inform its suppliers about plans to shutter the plant. Toyota said earlier that it would decide by the end of August whether or not to keep the NUMMI plant open. A Toyota spokesman said the company has not reached an official decision yet.
According to Asahi, an unidentified source said Toyota would transfer production of the Toyota Tacoma and Corolla, the two vehicles made by Toyota at the NUMMI factory, to other locations. Tacoma production will move to San Antonio, Texas, while Corolla output will move to Alliston, Ontario, and a factory in Japan.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with other California lawmakers, has asked Toyota to keep the plant open. The fate of NUMMI, a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota, was thrown into doubt once GM filed for bankruptcy and said it would be ending its participation in the collaboration. Production of the Vibe, GM’s only vehicle produced at NUMMI, is set to end this month.
NUMMI’s Toyota workers are the only employees within the automaker’s ranks represented by the UAW. By closing the plant, Toyota would end a money-losing venture and beef up production at other underutilized locations.
Source: Automotive News