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 17,883.35 78.55 0.44%
Nasdaq 4,773.08 7.70 0.16%
S&P 500 2,072.19 1.54 0.07%
Treasuries 2.17 -0.00 -0.18%
Data as of 9:55am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Gilead Sciences Inc 96.34 -12.11 -11.17%
Bank of America Corp... 17.59 -0.03 -0.17%
Facebook Inc 80.64 0.76 0.95%
Apple Inc 112.18 0.40 0.35%
Oracle Corp 45.71 -0.29 -0.63%
Data as of 9:40am ET

Sections

It was an eventful year in the world of business. CNNMoney takes a look back at the 10 biggest financial stories of 2014. More

Forums in dark corners of the web sell the kinds of hacks that befell Sony. More

Unilever sued Hampton Creek over its egg-free mayonnaise spread Just Mayo. But the company behind Best Foods and Hellman's mayonnaise has now dropped the lawsuit. More

Retired union workers could see their pensions cut under a controversial new law, but many say they're not sure how they'll make ends meet if big cuts go through. 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.