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Big news from Toyota this morning. The next gen Prius is coming to America! Production that is. Toyota just announced that starting in late 2010, it would start building the Prius outside of Japan for the first time as production starts at a new plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi. When Toyota first announced the plant last year it was scheduled to build the Highlander crossover. However, the collapse of sales of larger trucks and SUVs has hit Toyota just as hard as the domestic automakers. Sales of the Tundra full-size pickup were down nearly 50 percent in June. As a result Toyota is shuffling around production of several vehicle lines. Toyota will start by suspending all production of Tundra pickups and Sequoia SUVs along with the V8 engines that power them on August 8. Production of those products will resume in November. Next spring all full size truck production will be consolidated at the San Antonio Texas assembly plant. The truck line at the Princeton Indiana plant will be switched over to building Highlanders with production to start in the fall of 2009. That will free up the new Mississippi plant to build the Prius and possibly the Lexus variant as well.

[Source: Toyota]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      greg
      • 6 Years Ago
      I now own my second Prius and they are great. I truly wish that the American auto makers could match it but They are so far behind the times that their future is in question. Unions (UAW) are saddling them with so much debt through wages and pensions that they can't spend enough on R&D to compete in a totally new economic climate.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's about time they started building this car in the country where they sell most of them.
      norman Grajek
      • 6 Years Ago
      Regardad they may make the Prius , They will not be as bad as the Chrysler ! and Thank God it's not going to be UNION MADE ! look at Detroit ! The only thing worse is having a USA school teacher teach them ! Good luck Toyota -
      • 6 Years Ago
      Darrell, I’m so glad that this blog could give you the opportunity to cast my fellow Mississippians and I in such a poor light. It sounds like your having self esteem issues, and needed a whipping boy to make yourself feel superior. I sympathize. I too have self esteem issues from time to time. A word of advise. Before calling such a large group of people ambitionless, lazy, poor, incompetent, fat and stupid take your image off the post. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. You do have medical/dental rite?
      Back to topic. The Toyota plant will be a boon to the local economy. I say bring it on. There are manufacturers in Mississippi from Nissan, Ford, and GM. That’s just the ones I know about. Toyota will be a welcome addition. I wouldn’t worry too much about the folks at Toyota. Their pretty bright fellas. If their coming here, there must be a good reason for it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Darrell, go back home and have another soy latte' or something. The deep south is attracting vast numbers of manufacturers because the people work hard and get the job done without union interference. Right now we await word whether VW will move here to Alabama or to Tennessee; perhaps they saw your picture and decided to come here instead.
      To Matthew: The Sienna's tailgate was designed to smash the heads of drivers who purchased a Toyota instead of an American car. Did we miss yours...too bad.
        • 6 Years Ago
        comments like whopper makes me realize people enjoy working on those problematic dodge caravans! What issues will they run into nexT!?!?!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh great move, I wonder how long it takes before recalls show up for crankshafts on the Prius that start cracking (aka Tundra), or door falling off (aka Sienna), or tail gates smashing drivers heads (aka Sienna), or gas pedals that break away (Highlander). It seems that ever since Toyota started building cars in N.A. their quality has gone to the pits. My dad had a 1992 Toyota Previa with over 200k kilometres and its was virtually rattle free. He sold it for a 2006 Highlander Hybrid, and the thing has more rattles and squeaks with only 18,000kms on the clock than a similar mileage GM. I hope this Prius stays recall or problem free or it will ruin the reputation it has fought to earn despite all the naysaysers
        • 6 Years Ago
        Just because they are building in a state where they have the lowest test scores, most in poverty and they are the fattest people in the nation (therefore world) doesn't mean they are lazy, incompetent or lack ambition and pride in their selves or workmanship..... oh wait, maybe it does.

        This seriously makes me wonder. At least in China everyone that works on your car has a college degree.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Detroit CEOs have long complained that "it's not their fault" and have offered up one excuse after another as to why America's car companies are losing market share. My favorite excuse of theirs is that foreign automakers' workers earn less than their America counterparts (an excuse that the U.S. mainstream and business media has never bothered to challenge).

      A quick look at the numbers explodes this lie. The fact is, automaker employees in both Japan and Germany earn higher salaries than U.S. automaker workers do these days. Japan's wages run 30 to 40 percent higher than Detroit's wages. And German automakers workers earn around $49/hour on average versus $39/hour for Detroit's workers.

      Although U.S. automaker workers earn less than their foreign counterparts, Detroit CEOs make vastly higher pay packages than their counterparts do in Germany or Japan. So please lets not disrespect the union workers as a whole. Many of the great strides, enjoyed by both union and non-union workers, was made by the prior generation (our parents and grand parents).
      Peace
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just to be accurate. Toyota currently builds the Prius in China as well (not just in Japan). Its about time they started building them in its main market. Thank transportation costs for pushing along that choice.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What's new about the 2010 Prius? Plugin?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Solar panels!!!!! (to power the a/c) haha
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