Toyota: NUMMI Must Die! Or Not.

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Apparently, there’s no word for “yes” in Japanese. “Hai” means “I heard what you just said” not “I agree completely and will act accordingly.” By the same token, the word “no” lacks the Western sense of finality. So when Toyota used the opportunity of New GM’s birth to signal the media that it may close its GM joint venture in California, that means it may close its GM joint venture in California. Which is more than saying it definitely won’t shutter the UAW-staffed NUMMI plant, and less than saying it definitely will shutter the UAW-staffed NUMMI plant. Let’s check the official inscrutability index: “GM’s decision to abandon NUMMI and discontinue its production of the Pontiac Vibe have prompted a set of difficult and complex decisions for Toyota,” the Japan-based automaker said in a news release. “Under the current business circumstances, Toyota regrettably must also consider taking necessary steps to dissolve the joint venture.” Reading between the lines, NUMMI is toast. Unless Toyota decides otherwise.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Join the conversation
4 of 17 comments
  • Matt51 Matt51 on Jul 12, 2009

    Toyota should just find another partner to build a product with at NUMMI - I bet Chrysler would love to sell a version of the Matrix or Corolla. Or maybe Subaru, as Toyota is helping Subaru now.

  • Martin Schwoerer Martin Schwoerer on Jul 12, 2009

    I am waiting for a headline that says NUMMI is now to be known as Toyota/Chevrolet, or Toylet

  • Bill Wade Bill Wade on Jul 12, 2009
    bluecon : July 12th, 2009 at 10:11 am Of course Obama might step in and give Toyota a huge amount of dough to protect the UAW jobs. Politically impossible for Toyota to say no to that. Toyota would then join the list of manufacturers I will NEVER buy a car from again. You hear that GM and Chrysler? I'm not alone.
  • Forty2 Forty2 on Jul 13, 2009

    There is a $2000 discount on the Vibe; none on the Matrix. But: since all Pontiac shops are going to be shot, where do you take it for any warranty work? Toyota would just point and laugh, and the Chevy guys wouldn't know what to do with it. Conundrum. OK, not really, I've decided to keep pouring money into my '91 240.