Toyota to end output at GM jv plant in March: report

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp is looking to end production at a joint venture factory in California that it had held with General Motors in March 2010, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reported on its website.

Toyota, the world’s top automaker, has said it would decide by the end of this month whether to pull out of the 25-year-old plant, commonly known by its acronym NUMMI for New United Motor Manufacturing Inc, after General Motors left it in bankruptcy with Motors Liquidation Co.

Toyota has started to inform its main suppliers about the plans, the Asahi said.

A Toyota spokesman said the company has reached no official decision yet.

The paper cited a source as saying Toyota would transfer production of the Tacoma pickup truck to its light trucks factory in San Antonio, Texas in June. It will move output of the Corolla sedan to its factory in Ontario, Canada, and a factory in Japan.

Production of GM’s Pontiac Vibe is due to end this month.

California lawmakers and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger have appealed to Toyota to save the San Francisco area plant and its 4,500 jobs. The 50-50 plant has the only Toyota workers represented by the United Auto Workers union.

Analysts have said a closure of the loss-making factory, currently working at less than half its capacity, would be positive for Toyota, also helping to raise utilization at its other underused factories.

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim