Toyota's got some changes and rearranges underway with its North American facilities to better serve the demands of the market. The biggest news is that Prius production will be coming Stateside, which will help unkink the supply pipeline, if not also lower costs. A new facility in Blue Springs, Mississippi is being readied for the battery-pack-mobile, though the location was initially meant to turn out Highlanders. With consumer desires shifting with the rise of fuel prices, cranking out more Priuses is a higher priority, and beginning in fall 2009, the Highlander will shuffle off to Princeton, Indiana. With the Highlander elbowing its way into the Princeton plant, the vehicle currently produced there, the Tundra, will see its production move under a single roof in San Antonio, Texas.
The big-truck moves are of little consequence when the plants are scheduled to be idled beginning August 8th due to lack of demand. Huntsville, Alabama will also hold up on cranking out V8 engines. While Toyota is putting some plants in neutral, it pledges to provide employment to affected team members during the shutdown. All of this shuffling is an attempt by Toyota to avoid sustaining humongous hits as the market for new cars takes a dump, as well as ensuring that the products it remains building match up with consumer desires. Always a good thing to make the things people want.
[Source: Toyota/Open Road]