Mississippi Toyota plant construction resumes

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Construction will finally resume on the unfinished Mississippi Toyota plant in Blue Springs that was initially slated to have opened in 2010.

The Blue Springs, Mississippi Toyota plant whose construction went on hiatus as the U.S. economy tanked in 2008. Now construction will resume, says Toyota. (Photo: Mississippi Development Authority)

In a move that will bring 2,000 jobs to the beleaguered state, construction will resume on the Mississippi Toyota plant in Blue Springs. The Associated Press reports that Toyota’s estimate is that the plant should be fully operational by the fall of 2011. It had originally been slated for completion in 2010, but the recession that began in 2008 made the economic climate unfavorable.

The Mississippi Toyota plant will make Corollas

The initial production line that the Mississippi Toyota plant was slated to handle was the Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle, but now the Blue Springs facility will construct 150,000 Corolla compact cars each year, according to Toyota. Whatever the case, experts predict that this move will go a long way toward repairing Toyota’s image, particularly in North America. Massive safety recalls amount to more than 9 million vehicles worldwide since October 2009, with most of those occurring within the U.S.

U.S. Toyota plant closures were unpopular

New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI), a California plant Toyota shared with GM, was scrapped once the recession and recalls saddled Toyota with massive debt. Toyota President Akio Toyoda tried to repair some of the damage by allying Toyota with Tesla Motors in the San Francisco area, but Toyota still had their work cut out for them.

Gov. Haley Barbour welcomes Toyota back to Blue Springs

Regarding the re-emergence of the Mississippi Toyota plant, Gov. Haley Barbour told the AP:

“We’re delighted but not surprised. We’ve had good reason to keep our faith in them. Through a global economic crisis, Toyota kept its financial commitments to the state and to local schools, proving they are not just the world’s premier automaker but a valuable community partner as well.”

Toyota’s value to Blue Springs in terms of Mississippi jobs is obvious, as is the overall affect the Mississippi Toyota plant will have on the Mississippi economy. While profits for the automaker remain shaky, this move may be the recovery sign investors have been waiting for, indicates the AP.

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Associated Press

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