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The unemployed of Mississippi received some encouraging news this morning as Toyota announced that it plans to restart construction at its Tupelo-area plant, bringing over 2,000 jobs to the state. Automotive News reports that Toyota plans to use the plant to build the perennially hot-selling Corolla late next year.

Today's announcement brings some closure to a bad news story for Toyota. The plant was originally started in 2007 with the goal of building the Highlander crossover. In mid-2008, however, Toyota switched course and announced that the facility would instead assemble the Prius. But by the end of 2008, it was obvious that the auto industry was in serious trouble, and Toyota decided it was best to mothball the plant. The facility was nothing but a shell at the time, but reports showed that the cost of the plant, which originally was estimated to cost $800 million to build, had ballooned to $1.3 billion.

The decision to build the Corolla in Mississippi means that nearly 90 percent of the hot-selling compact will be built in North America. Toyota previously shifted 150,000 units of Corolla production to Japan when it shuttered the NUMMI plant in California earlier in the year.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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  • 27 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      The current Corolla looks something that could have been done in 2002. Dated and boring with the most odd proportions.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree. And they took an extra year to design it "right". At least the interior design is clean and appealing. The trunk looks like an afterthought though. It's the most unimpressive design in Toyotas stable. At least you can still get the Matrix which at least looks modern.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Shifted 150k unit to Japan?" Methinks AB has its facts wrong. Everytime AB mentions Toyota Corollas/Matrix and/or NUMMI there is never a mention of TMMC here in Ontario. It just seems they have holes in their stories and plug them with what info they can come up with. "Hmmmm, NUMMI closed so they must be build them now innnnnnn....JAPAN! Yeah, thats the ticket!" While they do build the JDM Corolla in Japan, USDM Corolla are now entirely built at TMMC (and if I recall correctly, all of the MAtrix's as well). As to whats happening with the Tacoma....I dont know and sales indicate that no one really cares either.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Don't forget

        3 = Mexico
        4 = American plant
        5 = American plant
        6= Australia
        • 4 Years Ago
        For those who are wondering all you have to do is look at the VIN. The code for the country a product was made in is right at the beginning of the VIN on the windshield. I would suspect the vast majority of Corollas on American lots have VINs starting with a 2 (made in Cambridge). Of course Toyota is capable of supplementing the supply as needed from Japan.

        If it starts with a 1 = American Plant
        2= Canadian Plant
        J= Japanese Plant
        K= Korean Plant
        S= English Plant
        W= German Plan
        Z= Italian Plant

        • 4 Years Ago
        True. Wikipedia states that the Cambridge north plant produces the Corolla and Matrix. The south plant builds the Lexus RX.

        I hope that the MS plant (it's actually NW of Blue Springs, on US highway 78) builds cars as well as NUMMI did. My wife had a NUMMI-built sixth-gen ('92) Corolla when I met her, and it was a great car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good for MS, but I wonder what the costs would have been to use the excess capacity of NUMMI vs this new plant's completion?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Toyota probably doesn't want to go back to NUMMI because it would again be a UAW plant. TMMM will be non-union.
        • 4 Years Ago
        duke I think your exactly right. Im no union fan at all but I would hope they have to play by the same rules as our domestics but they don't, the sad part is our government lets them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If only Ford and GM could close "underutilized" plants, then magically open plants a 1000 miles away to build the exact same cars. This is so transparent, probably legal, though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So no one is excited that 2k most likely American people will be getting jobs, not counting the others that will open businesses (e.g. vendors [food, entertainment, residence) due to this?
      All you guys can think of is foreign car bashing...wow! I'm not a Toyota fanboy but I'm glad some folks will be getting jobs after probably sitting home for a very long time.
      • 4 Years Ago
      After this plant is finished. The 2,000 workers will organized just like the workers at the auto plants in China and India. The workers in the auto plants in China and India went on strike.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The workers in China and India are protesting because they are earning pittance compared to the rapidly rising cost of living in those nations. Believe it or not there are labor shortages in the booming south of China. As one company starts raising wages to compensate others follow.

        In Mississippi, what Toyota will pay these workers will be far higher than what they can get anywhere else in the area. There will probably something akin to 20 job seekers per available job. Plus Mississippi is a right to work state means Toyota has an upper-hand.

        Besides those going to work for Toyota will be glad they will have a stable employer.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's pretty awesome that they'll create 2000 jobs, but for the love of god, every single one of you on the roads driving a Corolla S, stop driving like an idiot. It's gotten so bad, I stereotype every Corolla S I see now and unfortunately, I'm right. What is it with these people?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is it just me, or does Toyota need to DRASTICALLY redesign their cars?

      The Camry has had the same look since like 1999!
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, its only you anti-toyota fanbois.
        • 4 Years Ago
        you must be blind. the latest generation camry looks like nothing of the past camrys. still dont like the design though
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's just you.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Really?! I think you need to get your eyes checked. The new design might not be everyone's cup of tea, and I personally still think the weird logo-nose bump looks weird, but the current lineup definitely doesn't look anything like their cars from 1999 unless you're legally blind.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wow, just in time for the Corolla to be totally eclipsed by the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus and any number of other way more desirable cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Luis,

        Nope, there are (at least) two of us.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Was this the plant was supposed to build the Prius?
      • 4 Years Ago
      This car always reminds me as being the auto-equivalent of lime jello.

      Available in large numbers. Bought in large numbers, but no one ever really gets excited about it

      The current Civic is becoming old, yet still looks way fresher than a Corolla

        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed - the Civic has been on the market for what seems like forever, but still looks fairly current and, dare I say, more sophisticated than most.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What's with the haterade on lime jello, guys? Did Bill Cosby molest you when you were a kid or something?
        • 4 Years Ago
        So is the XRS lime jello w/grapes in it, or julienned carrots?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Super...I vote for grapes in lime jello. Funny thing is, you put it in front of someone and they'll probably eat it and enjoy it.
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