click for more images of the 2009 Toyota Prius

Earlier this year, we heard rumors that Toyota was planning on building the Prius in the U.S. (Mississippi) for the first time, starting in 2010. But, thanks to less-than-certain profits in the current economic situation, Automotive News (subs req'd) is now saying that an unsourced article in the Japanese Nikkei newspaper says the start date might be pushed back to 2011 - or later. The Mississippi economy is not pleased.

What's kind of ironic is that the idea to shift production to the U.S. was prompted, in part, by the escalating cost of fuel/transportation. It's gotta be hard to be an auto exec these days.

[Source: Automotive News (subs req'd)]

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