Toyota could start new U.S. plant in June 2011: report

TOKYO Sat Mar 6, 2010 11:37pm EST

Toyota Motor Corp's newest Prius hybrid cars are seen at the company's factory in Toyota City, central Japan March 5, 2010. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Toyota Motor Corp's newest Prius hybrid cars are seen at the company's factory in Toyota City, central Japan March 5, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp will start operating its new plant in Mississippi as early as June 2011, the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper said on Sunday, as the Japanese automaker works to regain trust in the United States.

Toyota, suffering from a drop in profits and a dent in its quality reputation after recalling over 8.5 million vehicles globally for accelerator and brake related problems, has a major presence as an employer in the United States.

It has established 10 manufacturing facilities in the United States and other operations that employ 33,400 people. Indirect employment, including dealers, accounts for another 160,700 jobs.

The state of Mississippi is suffering from an unemployment rate of 10.6 percent and the state government has been pressing Toyota to soon start the plant, which was originally set to commence operations in the second half of 2010, the Tokyo Shimbun reported.

In December 2008, Toyota suspended work on the Mississippi assembly plant, where it plans to build the Prius hybrid, in response to the decline in U.S. auto sales. Toyota executives including president Akio Toyoda have been questioned in U.S. congressional hearings after recalling over 6 million vehicles in the United States since October, and possible glitches in throttle software are key in the U.S. investigations.

Toyota shares are down by about a fifth since the recall crisis erupted in late January.

(Reporting by Yoko Kubota)

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Comments (5)
All Car Companies should have came forward with a full disclosures of what car were dangerous. Instead of waiting for a huge media blitz and tons of public pressure. I never seen so many car companies GM – NISSAN – TOYOTA – HYUNDAI having recalls all at the same time. I had no idea my car was affected until I looked on http://www.carpedalrecall.com and found I had a bad Anti Lock control unit on my 2008 Pontiac G8 , my co workers Ford Truck had a recall also. So be careful

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Mar 07, 2010 10:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
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Mar 07, 2010 10:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
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