Toyota moves forward on U.S. plant

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Toyota announced plans Thursday to build Corollas at an unused plant in Mississippi beginning late next year.

The automaker said in a press release that it will start manufacturing the top-selling compact sedan at a facility in Blue Springs, Miss., beginning in the fall of 2011.

The automaker plans to hire 2,000 workers to staff the plant, which it said is nearly complete. Toyota announced plans to build the plant in 2007, but the project was put on hold a year later as the economy slowed and auto sales plunged.

"Toyota remains committed to making vehicles where we sell them and to maintaining a substantial manufacturing presence in North America," said Yoshimi Inaba, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor North America.

The plant was originally built to make the Highlander sport-utility vehicle and Prius hybrids. Toyota said it decided to build Corollas at the plant in order to begin production as soon as possible.

The move came as Toyota (TM) looks to recover from problems caused by massive recalls and production shutdowns this year. The company has recalled millions of vehicles worldwide for safety issues related to sudden acceleration and breaking problems.

But the decision to reopen the Mississippi plant suggests the automaker is trying to move past its recent troubles, and after a rebound in auto sales.

In May, U.S. auto sales increased 19%, compared to the very weak sales of a year earlier, according to sales tracker Autodata.

While there was an overall increase in sales, helped by large orders from businesses, Toyota's gain of 7% was weaker than industry experts expected.

By comparison, rival automakers General Motors and Ford (F, Fortune 500) both reported double-digit percentage sales gains in May.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,769.15 91.25 0.55%
Nasdaq 4,469.53 16.74 0.38%
S&P 500 1,960.07 9.25 0.47%
Treasuries 2.27 -0.01 -0.31%
Data as of 12:12pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Microsoft Corp 45.73 0.71 1.58%
Ford Motor Co 13.74 -0.66 -4.58%
Apple Inc 105.07 0.24 0.23%
Bank of America Corp... 16.63 0.03 0.18%
Yahoo! Inc 43.28 0.67 1.58%
Data as of 11:57am ET

Sections

Regulators are about to reveal the results of an extensive health check of Europe's top 130 banks, indicating which may need a cash infusion. More

Many AT&T U-Verse customers across the country woke up to an emergency alert on their TVs. More

Using technology developed for the military and implemented in Iraq, schools have installed alarm systems that detect gunfire. More

Big purchases often come with big expectations. So it's no wonder that in a recent survey 80% of homebuyers said they regretted at least one thing about their home. Here are ways to improve those odds. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.