• Aug 17, 2009
2009 Toyota Matrix - Click above for high-res image gallery

Word 'round the campfire (okay, by way of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper in Japan and via Reuters) is that Toyota will end production at its NUMMI plant in California in March of next year. Though a spokesperson for the automaker claims no final decision has been made about an official closing of the plant, reports indicate that suppliers have already been notified about plans to shutter the assembly lines early next year after more than a quarter century in operation.

General Motors' only current contribution to the plant in California is the Pontiac Vibe, which officially ends production this month. Toyota is said to be moving production of the Tacoma pickup to its plant in San Antonio, Texas, and final assembly of the Corolla will reportedly join the Matrix, its hatchback sibling, in Ontario, Canada and a factory in Japan.



[Source: Reuters]


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  • 29 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is why is good to have a domestic automobile company. Toyota is sending Corolla's production to Canada and Japan. Given that the yen is much higher now, why not send more production to NUMMI and reduce production in Japan that is allocated to the U.S. market? Sure working in California is expensive, but given the a will to keep the plant open, I am sure they could have gotten some tax breaks from the Local and State government.

        • 5 Years Ago
        The local and state governments have no money because CA voters in 1978 handicapped it with Prop 13.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As an owner of a 2009 Vibe, it's too bad to see them go. It is a wonderful value for a vehicle and the plastic cargo area only makes sense. Children, beach and camping, it's easy as pie to clean it up, plus long trips, I have my XM radio. So nice...
        • 5 Years Ago
        You know...anybody who wanted to buy a Vibe can still buy the identical Matrix...and heck, you can even put a Pontiac logo on it.
        I was considering a Matrix/Vibe at some point and frankly the only thing that mattered one way or the other was the pricing and depreciation (and to a lesser extent the styling but back then I was looking at the first gen Vibe and the body cladding...)
        So as far as consumer choice goes nothing's really changed except that you can't buy anything branded Pontiac anymore.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is bad... My uncle works there and now he's gonna have to find a new job, which is already hard enough in this economy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Christ. Have some appreciation for sarcasm.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yep. I found the comment by dumbass UltraP down below as predicted.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's too bad... I really like my NUMMI-built Tacoma. My primary complaint about it is the pathetic Delphi-sourced radio in it. The first one flaked out after less than a week and the replacement is showing signs that it's going to do the same thing after just a few months. LOTS of people with 2009's are having this same problem. Time to place an order with Crutchfield I guess. Makes me wonder what other GM-supplier garbage has found its way into the Tacomas as a result of this joint venture. This closing sucks for the workers in Freemont, but at least Toyota is keeping that Tacoma production line in this country.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's too bad. I say that because I own two vehicles made at the NUMMI plant. The first one is a 2001 with 136K and the quality has been excellent. The second is a 2008, so it's too soon to pass judgment, but so far so good.

      I too wonder why the Vibe couldn't have fit in with the new GM as a Chevy, but then again we don't really know the economics of producing that car. All we know is that it's a decent car. If it's a decent car that doesn't make them any money, it's no help to GM.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I really liked the prev gen matrix and vibe. Disappointed with the current offerings though. The Matrix is fugly, the vibe GT looks good though. But both have interiors no more modern than the 2003 launch cars. I was really hoping for a Matrix that matched the Blade MasterG or a Vibe GT with GMs excellent 2.0L turbo. But instead we get that awful Camry 2.4L. Opportunity missed in my opinion. Im still waiting on GM to put that 2.0L in a practical car worthy of that engine.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I keep hoping that Toyota's 2.5L (in 191hp guise) will show up in the XRS, but I'm not holding my breath. Too bad, because I would buy another Matrix with that engine to replace my '03 XRS. As it is now, I'm thinking Mazda 3.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yea Toyota's 4cyl engines that get more than 140hp suck when it comes to fuel economy and ecotec has better higher end modes. I never quite understood why GM and Toyota decided to not go for the gm engine.

        I remember reading rumors of a Vibe GXP that GM was considering the 2.0 turbo ecotec from the cobalt ss and solstice. Then the economy tanked and they decided bringing in the g3 would be a better idea.

        This talk reminds me of how optimistic things looked for pontiac just 2 years ago. The whole line up was moving rwd, the g8 was just around the corner, the solstice coupe was sexy and coming soon, and pontiac was starting to compete. Now it's dead.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Personally i want a scion xB with the Rav-4 v6 and a 6spd manual. Toyota could easily retail a car like this for right at $20k. Considering the 3700lb Rav-4 with a 5spd gets 27mpg hwy, i would think you could have an xB weighing 3200lbs (right at speed3 and wrx weight) that with a 6spd would get atleast 28mpg. All while not requiring premium fuel, and being far more practical. Tiny amounts of suspension tuning make a huge difference in that car and the engine bay is more than big enough for that engine. There is something appealing to me about having a cheap, spacious, efficient, and powerful box on wheels.
        • 5 Years Ago
        There's nothing awful about the 2.4, and if power output is really that big of a deal you could always retrofit the TRD supercharger for it from the Scion tC. The 2.4 isn't the sportiest engine in the world but it's rock solid, crazy easy to work with, and has plenty of torque across the rev range.
        Frankly I think putting the V6 up front like the Blade Master G would throw the balance off so badly that it would drive like crap.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm glad GM is getting out of this deal. The venture could not have been a good deal for GM. Most of the components of those vehciles were Japanese made, so basically, Toyota was promoting their products using GM. Again, another one-sided affair coming to an end.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And historically GM's most reliable product came in the form of the Nova/Prism/Vibe. Yeah, GM lost on the venture because it showed just how crappy GM cars were in the same showroom with the Vibe.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jim, as someone already mentioned earlier in this thread, the Vibe is made at NUMMI, and the Matrix is made in Canada... not the same line as you say, but Toyota quality vs. GM quality is another story. I really don't see any validity in your claim regarding Toyota "taking advantage" of GM with the NUMMI JV. Both parties obviously had their motives to form the JV. The people running GM are big boys... they knew what they were getting into.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You've been brainwashed by the media. For example, the Vibe and the Matrix are built on the same line, but yet, the Matrix is rated better by the Media. Wake up! Don't you see any bias? Can you believe the media? Heck no! Toyota loves this kind of reporting for it generates more sales for them. Wait and see. The domestics will change it's perception by coming out with cars that will leap frog the competition. Evidently, making them just as good does not do the trick.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lazy UAW workers with looter unions behind them had it coming. They deserve to be let go. California was overdue for a reality check...the budget and this are just the beginning of what's to come.
      • 5 Years Ago
      give tesla the plant
      • 5 Years Ago
      Do you cry for the union workers there. I want to feel bad but I don't because I am making only 16.50 an hr , while they are making 27.00 dollars or more an hr! I don't find it easy to survive off of 16.50 a hr but I do. maybe the UAW there should offer to work for 15.00 to no more then 20.00 dollars a hr . A lower paying job is better then a high paying job thats about to go bye bye! also if president obama can pass the health reform bill hen maybe toyota could save more costs on health insurance prices by not giving its workers insurance! Again a job making 9 dollars over the min wage is better then a laid off high paying job . it might seem cruel in some ways but its true ! I as a consumer can not afford the higher price of a price tag on a car that figures in uaw pay rates!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't see what you gain from these jobs going away. They spent that money in the community, and that meant jobs for other people.

        I think the issue is Toyota's excess capacity, especially that big fancy truck plant in TX.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Where do you live? Do you have any idea what the cost of living is in the area? I know of people who went to work there and had to share houses because they couldn't afford one of their own. And it's about more than just wages. Doing business in California is expensive and the economy is shot. NUMMI is paying about the same wages as any Toyota plant in the United States whether the plant is union or not.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How many times do we have to correct you folks. Here is a link... http://www.toyota.ca/cgi-bin/WebObjects/WWW.woa/wa/vp?vp=Home.TMMC

      Cambridge already builds the Corolla. They have been building it since they started in 1988. This is why I laugh every time someone tells me the Corolla is made in the USA. Most of the Corolla's made in Cambridge go to the US (though Cambridge does supply all of the Corolla's for the Canadian market as well). Nummi builds them as well but is not the sole supplier for the US market. The Matrix is built in Cambridge not Nummi. Nummi only built the Pontiac Vibe not the Matrix.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It is true that they messed up on not mentioning Cambridge the other source of the Corolla, but please READ THE ARTICLE!

        "final assembly of the Corolla will reportedly join the Matrix, its hatchback sibling, in Ontario, Canada and a factory in Japan"

        They never said the Matrix was made at NUMMI.
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