Tag: nummi

By on August 20, 2011


Toyota closed the last chapters of the book on NUMMI, wrote a check for $6 million, and put the book to where it will collect the dust of history. According to Reuters, Toyota reached a $6 million settlement with former NUMMI workers.

The suit was brought by workers on medical leave when NUMMI was shut down in March 2010. It’s not that they had gone empty-handed. After GM had pulled out of NUMMI in June 2009 and left Toyota holding the bag, Toyota announced plans to pull out by March 2010. Toyota had negotiated a $281 million settlement-agreement with the UAW-represented workers, while GM was whistling Dixie.

At the time it was clear that some union brothers were more equal than others. (Read More…)

By on February 17, 2011

Last year, Toyota invested $50 million into Tesla. Tesla turned around and spent $42 million of the new money and bought the land and buildings of site 2 of NUMMI in Freemont, CA. As it turns out, the deal did not include the fixtures. Nothing another $17 million could not fix. (Read More…)

By on December 1, 2010

Both Toyota and the remains of its joint venture known as NUMMI have sued the remains of “Old GM” for breach of contract according to two separate reports in the Wall Street Journal [sub]. NUMMI is seeking $365m, claiming GM caused the collapse of the joint venture by unilaterally pulling out as it collapsed into bankruptcy,  sticking Toyota and NUMMI with the bill.

Those decisions breached … commitments to Nummi and sounded its death knell,” said the lawsuit, filed last week. And unlike Toyota, GM’s bankruptcy estate “has refused to contribute to Nummi’s deficit during the wind down”

Toyota, meanwhile, is suing for some $73m in development costs for the Pontiac Vibe, a vehicle that GM was supposed to sell for another two years.

(Read More…)

By on June 10, 2010

I’ve declared many times on TTAC that I’m a bit of what you folks across the pond would call a liberal. I believe people should have a baseline in terms of living standards, but people should still work for the better things in life. The state should be there to help people, not sustain them. My point is that when an entity gets too much power (or THINKS it has) then the balance of power is shifted and seldom ever for the better. Everything is good is moderation. I feel the same way about Unions. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not anti-union. Unions have done a lot of good for the common working person. They fought for better working environments, better pay, better job security, etc. It is impossible to deny the good they’ve done. But like Harvey Dent said in “The Dark Knight”, “You can either die a hero or live long enough to become a villain”. And unfortunately, this article doesn’t exactly show unions in a good light.
(Read More…)

By on May 21, 2010

A lot of people have been shaking their heads at the Toyota/Tesla deal. Was it just an elegant way to unload the NUMMI plant? As in “here are $50m, please buy my plant with it?” Or is it part of a grand strategy, the beginning of Toyota’s foray into an all-electric future? As usual, the truth is stranger than business plans. (Read More…)

By on May 20, 2010

Akio Toyoda has often warned his company of the risks of “big company syndrome,” doubtless with the GM’s spectacular decades-long fall from dominance in mind. Today, he framed Toyota’s announcement of a partnership with EV startup Tesla as way to reconnect with a lost underdog mentality, saying

By partnering with Tesla, my hope is that all Toyota employees will recall that venture business spirit

Of course, he also said that only a recent return to profitability allowed Toyota to even consider this deal in the first place. And what of the deal? Toyota will buy $50m worth of Tesla shares “in a private placement to close immediately subsequent to the closing of Tesla’s currently planned initial public offering,” as a Tesla presser puts it. In exchange, Tesla is buying “site two” of the NUMMI plant for what Tesla CEO Elon Musk terms “a great price.” NUMMI will be the production site for Tesla’s Model S, a $30k Tesla, and a jointly-developed sub-$30k vehicle. The two firms also intend to cooperate on the development of EV components as well as production system and engineering support

(Read More…)

By on April 1, 2010

The literal answer is that it’s not the very last vehicle built at NUMMI. A red Corolla had that honor, but this is the very last Tacoma to be built by the UAW. And with that, the grand experiment between GM and Toyota is over. Could anyone have guessed way back in 1984 that the joint venture would eventually fall victim to a GM bankruptcy and Toyota overreach? Perhaps a few, but then who can say  what firm, or even what industry, will be busying NUMMI’s production floors 26 years from now? The times, they are a-changing.

By on March 30, 2010

Not only does Public Radio’s This American Life take on one of the most fascinating stories in the auto industry this week, they also give a big shout-out to TTAC’s readers at the end. That means you! Don’t miss this story, if only to have your mind blown by just how big of a party the Fremont, CA, plant was back in the “good old days.”

By on March 24, 2010

The good folks from the Public Radio show This American Life are hunting down a headline. Writer Emily Condon writes:

There was an article, likely between 1980 and 1988, that ran about the NUMMI plant in Fremont California, focusing on the GM and Toyota partnership. We think the headline was “HELL FREEZES OVER,” or possibly “HELL FREEZES OVER IN FREMONT,” or something to that effect. The person we’re interviewing thought it was Motor Trend – they couldn’t find any record of it. I couldn’t find it in Motor Trend or Car & Driver…but it’s possible I somehow missed it, since the archives weren’t searchable, but only on microfilm. But could possibly be another publication, too.

Long story short, their investigation seems to have gone cold at a TTAC comment thread, which is where you, our Best and Brightest, come in. The first commenter to identify the magazine and issue that This American Life is looking for, will win immortal TTAC fame, and the much-coveted Fiat 500 mouse.

[UPDATE: Commenter Msquare proves that whether you need an old car mag headline hunted down, or a ’51 Packard identified from only a picture of its gas cap, TTAC’s Best & Brightest are the place to go. Congratulations Msquare, check your email for instructions on claiming your prize. Everyone else, be sure to check out This American Life‘s piece on NUMMI, “the car plant that could have changed everything,” which airs on March 26. ]

By on March 19, 2010

Workers at the former Toyota-GM joint venture NUMMI have approved a severance offer from Toyota. Union officials won’t reveal the exact amount involved, and while the Detroit Free Press reports that workers will make a “minimum” of $21,175, the San Jose Mercury says the deal “gives an average severance package of $54,000.” Could it be that some union brothers are more equal than others? What the Freep leaves out is that $21,175 minimum applies to 300 of NUMMI’s 4,700 workers who are already on disability leave. Workers with over 25 years of experience will receive $68,500.

(Read More…)

By on March 12, 2010

The former GM-Toyota joint-venture known as New United Motor Manufacturing Inc (NUMMI) in Fremont, CA is a big plant. Its nearly 5,000 employees  can churn out over 400,000 compact cars and pickups in a year when operating at full capacity, which of course it hasn’t been for some time. With GM leaving the joint venture during bankruptcy, and Toyota currently winding down the remaining operations, those 4,700-ish employees and their 5.3m square foot plant need work. Local media call their outlook “gloomy,” noting that semiconducter workers will be first in line for the few new manufacturing jobs in the area, with a solar panel firm. But, in keeping with the green revival theme, an electric vehicle startup called Aurica says it’s in negotiations to take over NUMMI, where it says it will build unspecified EVs, in a venture that currently has an “undisclosed” finance plan. Are we buying this? Let’s look at some numbers.

(Read More…)

By on March 3, 2010

A Toyota press release [via Marketwatch] reads:

Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMA) today announced that Toyota has committed $250 million to its contracted manufacturer New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) to fund transition support for NUMMI’s salaried and hourly team members. Toyota’s financial support is enabling NUMMI to offer bonuses to salaried and hourly team members who continue to produce quality vehicles for Toyota through April 1, 2010, when Toyota’s production contract with NUMMI will end. This funding is subject to ongoing negotiations between NUMMI and the United Auto Workers with respect to those hourly team members represented by the union.

[Hat Tip: PickupMan]

By on February 22, 2010

UAW members protest a Modesto, CA Toyota dealer, as part of the union’s wider effort to punish Toyota for its decision to shut down the NUMMI factory in nearby Fremont [via the Modesto Bee]. “We are not telling people not to buy Toyota products,” explains one worker. “We’re telling people that Toyota needs to be a responsible corporation and keep jobs in California.” And though there couldn’t be a better time to blame Toyota for just about anything, the NUMMI plant was closed because GM ditched the joint venture during its bankruptcy and government bailout. Toyota, like GM, was faced with overproduction in the US market, and because GM had pulled out of NUMMI, the plant was an obvious candidate for closure. So really, these protesters would have some sinister version of GM’s logo on their sign if they were really interested in fairly assigning blame for the NUMMI shutdown. However, their UAW pension fund owns 17.5 percent of GM, so simply blaming Toyota is a lot more convenient. Especially since Toyota is already attracting so much well-deserved (if wholly-unrelated) negative media attention.

By on February 1, 2010

Say what? GM has no problem kicking Toyota when its down, offering conquest cash to craven Toyota owners who might be tempted to flee the brand in the midst of recall mania, but its own handling of the situation deserves some analysis. After all, GM confirms that its Pontiac Vibe is assembled at the GM-Toyota NUMMI joint venture using the CTS-sourced pedal assembly that allegedly causes unintended acceleration. And yet The General went on the record last Friday [via Automotive News [sub]] essentially claiming that its Toyota Matrix rebadge was magically safe from the dread terrors afflicting its Toyota-badged cousin. Now GM has revised its statement on the Vibe, admitting that since the Toyota recall, it has received several complaints about sticking accelerators on Vibes (although no related wrecks have been reported). Better late than never… unless you’re making the pitch that consumers should choose you over Toyota because you will take better care of them. [UPDATE: GM reports that the Vibe’s brakes can stop the vehicle. Go figure]

(Read More…)

By on November 11, 2009

gone daddy

Although Toyota was a 50% stakeholder in the NUMMI facility in Freemont, California, it may end up carrying 100% of the closure costs. The LA Times reports that Liquidation Motors, the company which took over GM’s assets won’t fund any of the severance pay or other expenses to the closure of NUMMI. “Motors Liquidation is not contributing at all” (to the closure costs), said Tim Yost, a spokesman for Detroit-based Motors Liquidation Corp., “We don’t believe there will be a requirement for us to do so.” Paul Nolasco,  a Toyota spokesperson in Tokyo said that “Although we cannot provide any figures at this time, it is something for which we plan to make allowance in our earnings report.” Toyota was planning for a smaller-than-expected loss for this financial year, and the addition of these extra costs (should they happen) will affect the company and its stock price. On the other hand, it also puts Toyota in the exact same boat as the American taxpayers.

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