by Toyota Open Road Blog
There’s been a good deal of curiosity lately about when we might begin building our Prius Hybrid here in North America. Now we can satisfy that curiosity.
As part of a sweeping set of changes that reflect the state of the automobile business in the United States, Prius assembly will begin here in late 2010 at a brand-new plant currently under construction in Blue Springs, Mississippi. Prius thus will join the Camry Hybrid, assembled in Kentucky, as the second Toyota hybrid produced in North America. This important step will allow us to better respond to increased demand for hybrid vehicles.
Assembly of the Highlander midsize SUV, originally scheduled for the new Mississippi plant, will shift to our Princeton, Indiana plant. That change becomes effective Fall 2009.
With Highlander’s move to the Princeton plant, assembly of the Tundra will be consolidated at our San Antonio, Texas plant, effective Spring 2009.
Part of what’s driving these changes is the declining market for fullsize pickups and SUVs. Because of that declining market, Toyota is temporarily suspending Tundra and Sequoia production beginning August 8th. Work is scheduled to resume in November. Production of V8 engines at our Huntsville, Alabama plant also will be suspended.
Team members at all three facilities will be provided employment during this period.
These changes are intended as a way to minimize -- for us, at least -- the effects of the economic influenza that has swept through the ranks of the automotive industry, and to be sure that we have the right factories producing the right products.
Originally published on the Toyota Open Road blog on July 10, 2008.
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