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36Toyota idles production in France, UK and U.S. to cope with weak demand

Toyota Yaris 5-Door Liftback (UK market) – Click above for a high-res image gallery

38AP: Lawmakers investigating Toyota have previous ties to the automaker

It looks like the Toyota recall mess is going to keep getting messier. Today we're hearing that there might be some, let's say, inappropriate ties between the Japanese automaker and the lawmakers that have been investigating its recent round of recalls. The Associated Press reports that the group of investigators includes "a senator who was so eager to lure the Japanese automaker to his state that he tramped along through fields as its executives scouted plant sites, and a congresswoman who owes

1REPORT: Toyota finally ready to finish U.S. plant in Tupelo, Miss

In a move to reduce the impact of the yen's strength against the dollar, Toyota is planning to finish off its recently-built plant in Tupelo, Mississippi. The plant was started way back in 2006 but had been put on indefinite hold last December. At this time, only the building shell has been completed and there is no actual car-building equipment installed. According to the Nikkei newspaper in Japan (via Automotive News), production is slated to begin by March 31, 2011.

8REPORT: Toyota to add 850 more jobs in San Antonio to build more pickups

2007 Toyota Tundra Limited - click above for high resolution gallery

19Toyota to build hybrid batteries in North America

Even with the $5,000 difference between the Prius and non-hybrid Toyotas, there was a time when Toyota lost money on the car. Even when the car entered the black, and even though they halved the cost of the hybrid system from one generation to the next, Toyota still didn't make the margins on it that they did with their go-to sedans. Yet with plans to start making batteries for the Hybrid Synergy Drive in the U.S., Toyota says it should be able to halve costs again, and bring the next-gen Prius

33Prius production heading to Mississippi, Tundra to Texas

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 P

38Official: Toyota to build Highlanders in Mississippi

As expected, Toyota officially announced its plans to build the Highlander in northeast Mississippi. The company will invest $1.8 billion in the project and initially employ 2,000 workers. Toyota officials, along with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (speaking in photo), made the announcement this morning at a press conference in Tupelo, Miss.

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