Toyota Delays Mississippi Plant

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
toyota delays mississippi plant

Automotive News [sub] reports that Toyota is delaying opening its $1.3b Tupelo, Mississippi production plant from early 2010 to… sometime later that year. Toyota cites weakness in American sales and a tight credit market for the delay– which it downplays as a relatively minor adjustment. "We made adjustments within a certain range of time," Toyota Executive VP Mitsuo Kinoshita soothed. "The change wasn't that critical." The plant will employ some 2k Mississippians building about 150k Highlander crossover utilities. Toyota has seen its sales drop for seven of the last nine months, and recently announced an estimated 28 percent drop in profits. Toyota's San Antonio Tundra plant has already seen its production trimmed, as the global leader in auto sales volume struggles with North American overcapacity. With small, efficient Toyotas continuing to sell well, from the Prius to the Yaris and even the Camry, could Toyota simply switch production over from Highlander's to something that will, y'know, sell?

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  • Jthorner Jthorner on May 12, 2008

    Highlander has it's roots in the Camry platform, so one would think that it shouldn't be too hard for Toyota to reconfigure the new plant for Camry production. Or, maybe Toyota will kill the 4Runner so as not to have it and the Highland competing in a shrinking market. I doubt that the UAW will be able to make hay out of this decision.

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on May 12, 2008
    You have that correct…. unions = infection. Toyota is smart. They’ll adjust quickly as they have a lot more ground to gain thanks to the UAW... The UAW can't organize these plants because Toyota give them too good a deal. It is not worth it to get dragged into all the union complications for marginally better compensation. However, when the UAW ceases to be a threat, the compensation package at Toyota will deteriorate. Maybe it will start with a two tier pay scale, but no way will the deal be as sweet as it is now. So, those Toyota guys ought to thank the UAW for their good deal. Enjoy it guys. You will be undersold. Upper level management simply can't help themselves.

  • Richard Chen Richard Chen on May 13, 2008

    Toyota ought to come up with a plan B - there aren't enough ships to go around ( to bring more cars over here.

  • Juniper Juniper on May 13, 2008

    I agree with golden2husky. Toyota now has people in their plants that have been "temps" for 2 to 3 yrs. These are the people they are now cutting in their SUV and truck plants. But they can still say they aren't laying off employees, I mean associates.