• Jul 10, 2008
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]


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  • 33 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yes. Now when people say fuel efficient cars aren't built in the U.S., I can straighten them out with the Prius.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It was about time. Priuses are raking in so many sales that given enough inventory it could be one of the top 5 cars in sales in the U.S.

      This is good for employment in the U.S., and hopefully will be even better as more parts of the Priuses are sourced within the U.S. rather than imported from Japan.

      • 6 Years Ago
      ""Paice LLC is the one who should be put to shame. Its main line of work involves creating a whole bunch of patents, sitting on it, and waiting to go sue someone who creates a product that uses a procedure, or technology that's similar to what they've patented""

      Absolute Bullshyte. Paice is an R&D firm specializing in hybrid drivetrain systems. They make their money by marketing thier advanced technology to the auto companies.

      Jezus, you really have sucked down the Toyota Kool Aid haven't you. You're saying that the company Toyota tried to steal from should be ashamed? Absolutely amazing.

      We should just shut down the Patent office then?

      Toyota has so much money they are generally referred to as "The Bank of Toyota" in financial circles, and they have access to the top of the top flight Intellectual Property law firms worldwide.

      Toyota knew damn well they were illegally using Paice's hybrid technology, and you know damn well that Toyota could have easily afforded to license it. Instead they tried to steal it thinking that Paice was too small to afford to fight them in court. And Toyota took this all the way the the Supreme Court.

      People like you who hold Toyota up as some shining example of wise management and technological know-how are absolute jokes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am not one of those who alwas bash the Big 2.5 but compared Toyota with GM: GM is idling its truck plants, but where is the announcement that the Opel Corsa will be built in its Mexico plants instead and be sold as a Saturn? Toyota quicky reacted by switching from a gas-guzzler to a hot car and has already announced the new production in about a little more than a year. Toyota reacts fast while the General is still in committee deciding what to do and hoping that the Volt will cure all ills....
        • 6 Years Ago
        They're all reacting quickly.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Lordstown isn't a truck plant.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Chevy Cruze would like to have a word with you.

        http://www.autoblog.com/2008/07/09/chevy-cruze-to-be-built-in-lordstown/

        • 6 Years Ago
        The Chevy Cruze is a Cobalt replacement, they are not adding anything new to the pipeline. Toyota is building the Prius because a)this is what the market wants and b)the existing factories are already in capacity so why not convert an existing factory of a line that is less popular not at full capacity into a new line for the Prius?
        Regarding Ford, they would have started importing smaller Fords from their other global factories around the world. Federalizing the cars shouldn't take 2-3 years. Doesn't Brazil already produce the Fiesta?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ford announced they'll be converting a number of truck plants to produce European Compacts, Sedans, and mini-vans over three weeks ago. Who's reacting fast?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am not racist or biased or anything but moving production from Japan to Mississippi hopefully will not have any impact on quality. Tundra was produced there it was full flaws. From personal experience my 06 Nissan quest rattles like a train on the road and it was assembled in Mississippi.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I wouldn't call it shifting. I think they're going build it in the US and Japan. Kinda like the Camry Hybrid. You get some built in the US and some built in Japan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It really is a damn shame that Toyota made a deliberate decision to attempt to steal the technology for the Prius and their other Hybrids from the American Company: Paice LLC of McLean, Virginia, that holds the Patents.

      Toyota ultimately lost the infringement suit, and their appeal to the Supreme Court of the huge damages they were ordered to pay to Paice.

      For as much as we need hybrid vehicles in the US, Toyota really should have been barred from selling them here due to thier illegal, underhanded business practices as illustrated by the Patent infringement suit they lost.

      I won't even go into all of the false advertising Toyota engaged in with their false, inflated claims of the Gen. I Prius gas mileage.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Paice LLC is the one who should be put to shame. Its main line of work involves creating a whole bunch of patents, sitting on it, and waiting to go sue someone who creates a product that uses a procedure, or technology that's similar to what they've patented. They don't go beyond their patents to actually produce something complete and concrete that actually benefits people in a tangible way. They don't even create cars for that matter.

        Toyota, on the other hand, created a real practical product. They did the prototyping, development, rigorous testing (which is why the Prius is a very reliable car), marketing, continuous refinement, etc. They basically did all the leg-work whereas Paice LLC just waited patiently until the Prius is a success. Afterwards they moved ahead and and sued Toyota to get money. And please, you don't need to mention the fact that Paice is an AMERICAN company. You're just giving that word a bad image.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It'll never happen, since Toyota's apparent ownership of the media stops the public from even hearing about these issues and practices. Like the way that Toyota was accused of virtually employing slave labour, didn't deny it whatsoever, then proceeds to get away with it scot free. Seriously, it was a news item, in the blogs only, on the 18th and 19th of June, then seemingly disappeared on the 20th. What Domestic auto manufacturer would be able to slip under the radar like that? People are still griping over GM killing the EV1, a program that cost it a billion dollars, and that happened YEARS AGO!
        • 6 Years Ago
        The media brought Toyota where it is today. Toyota did not do it on merits. Consumers Report is one who has contributed a lot of damage to the domestics from it bias. I remember when the Japanese cars were making junk and CR was praising how good they were. Even today no matter how good the domestics are, CR will make sure they find something wrong with them. For example, I've seem them pick on the Corvette, calling it a gas guzzler. We all know for being a sport car, no other sport car with that power, can even come close to it. I guess they were comparing it with an economy car instead of another sport car. But, I can see the day when they will shift sides because it will be more profitable for them. Toyota beware, the domestics are going for your jugulars. Give them a few year, if they can hold out financially, and they will have superior technologies and they won't have to steal it, either.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Death to patent squatters!
      • 6 Years Ago
      The fact that this vehicle currently produced there, the Tundra, will see its production move under a single roof in San Antonio, Texas is a global process. It's a model promoted all over the world.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Considering the biggest market is in the U.S., I'm not surprise.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Uh, Toyota's already been building the Tundra in their San Antonio plant. In fact, the news recently was that they were on the verge of shutting that new plant down to retool it to build something else, they laid off all their contract workers that were about to go perm with them, and they're moving Tundra production to Mexico.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good to see production of the Prius will come to the US. Hopefully the Huntsville plant can start building something other than the V8.
        • 6 Years Ago
        yes, because you know we need to create more demand for $5 diesel!
        • 6 Years Ago
        yes, because you know we need to create more demand for $5 diesel!
        • 6 Years Ago
        hopefully that will be a T2B5 compliant DIESEL V8. some smaller diesels would be fine too.
      • 6 Years Ago
      this is terrible news.

      Reliability of American-made toyotas have taken a nose dive.

      Consumer reports no longer recommends the Camry due to reliability issues.

      The only reason the prius is a tight, reliable car is because it is made in Japan.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Toyota was using that excuse during the Camry engine sludge Class Action Suit, and after the Tundra V8 REPLACEMENT recall. Shortly after a number of Japan only models started having issues and recalls.

        That doesn't hold water anymore.
        • 6 Years Ago
        old blighty:

        Oh Em Gee, CONSUMER REPORTS doesn't recommend something, what ever will we do!?! Better not buy it, BIA..err CONSUMER REPORTS doesn't like it!!!

        Idiot.

        I'd buy a car BECAUSE Consumer Reports didn't recommend it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This again shows that people who think Toyota somehow holds a massive edge in flexible manufacturing tech have placed too much faith in Japanese superiority.

      Toyota is requiring months to convert a plant from one truck (Tundra) to another (Highlander). And their Tundra plant in Texas will be idled for months instead of producing another vehicle that is in high demand during the period.

      Production changeovers take a long time and cost a good bit of money, even for Toyota. Every manufacturer right now is a bit behind the 8-ball, stuck producing a vehicle mix that doesn't really make sense with the rapid shift in buying habits. Each will be making the adjustments they can as rapidly as they can so as to stop building inventory.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well the important thing is they aren't having massive layoffs and plant closures.
        • 6 Years Ago
        tankd0g:
        You're referring to the jobs bank. Only older (higher seniority) workers are grandfathered into the jobs bank. Additionally, it doesn't apply to work-week cutbacks or "summer shutdowns" as these are. If GM has a permanent plant closure, some workers might go into the jobs bank from that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's a good thing they aren't required to pay their workers full pop to sit at home like GM then isn't it?
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