Toyota will recommence construction on its Mississippi plant when it begins producing the Corolla there late next year.
The production of the Corolla at the plant will mark the second major shift in production there; the original intent was to produce Highlanders there, but focus had shifted to Prius production in mid-2008 after fuel prices soared. By December of that year, with the U.S. auto market the worst it had been in decades, Toyota suspended construction on the plant all together. Thus far, the building”s shell is complete.
“Toyota appreciates the patience of Gov. Barbour and all Mississippians, but we first needed to fully utilize our existing facilities as the economy slowed. Now it”s time to fulfill Toyota”s promise in Mississippi,” said Yoshimi Inaba, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor North America.
“Toyota remains committed to making vehicles where we sell them and to maintaining a substantial manufacturing presence in North America.”
Toyota said that it will soon hire 2,000 team members and build the Corolla compact sedan beginning in the fall of 2011.
– By: Stephen Calogera