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This didn't take long. Hot on the heels of NUMMI shutting its doors for good, reports are emerging that the plant's former workers aren't satisfied with their severance packages. Originally, employees were slated to see around $54,000 on average, depending on seniority. The newest workers were headed home with $21,000 in their pocket, while those who had put in the most years were walking away with closer to $68,000.

One of the highest-rated shows on National Public Radio is This American Life, which does deep-dives into weekly themes, exploring subject matter from different angles while always leaving the listener enriched. This past Sunday, the show spent an hour going over the Toyota/General Motors joint venture in California, the NUMMI facility that will be shutting down this week.

Thanks to the hard work and solidarity of the United Auto Workers union, Detroit automakers have for years known that it is extremely expensive to offer early retirements, entice workers to walk away from their jobs or permanently close the doors at a plant. And even though NUMMI is an independent company, Toyota, too, is now fully aware of the financial pain involved in mothballing a factory for good. The Freemont, California NUMMI plant became expendable after General Motors cut ties with the

Who the heck is Aurica Motors? An under-the-radar electric car company with big dreams, that's who. A company that, if it gets its way, will turn the soon-to-be-closed NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA into a huge production facility for electric vehicles. Earlier speculation about NUMMI's future included the possibility that it would make hybrids for both Toyota and General Motors, or that maybe Tesla Motors or Fisker Automotive would step in. None of these things happened.

The present Toyota recalls have been garnering a vast amount of media attention, but no one has forgotten about the automaker's earlier decision to end its production contract with California's New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI). Just recently, Toyota issued a press release stating it will commit $250 million to support the NUMMI plant closure that, as we reported earlier, will mean a direct loss of 5,400 jobs and up to 50,000 jobs at suppliers and other supporting businesses. Don't bla

2009 Toyota Corolla - Click above for high-res image gallery