Blue Springs, Mississippi – Toyota will resume construction on its stalled auto assembly plant in Mississippi, which is now scheduled to build the Corolla beginning in the fall of 2011. The company said it will soon hire 2,000 employees.
Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, was expected to visit and meet with Northeast Mississippi community leaders and Toyota officials yesterday.
The company said that the decision to begin production with Corolla will enable the plant to open as quickly as possible; earlier, Toyota had indicated that the plant would produce the Prius. Once the plant is operational, nearly all Corollas for the North American market will be built in North America, as some have been built in Japan since April.
“Toyota appreciates the patience of Governor Barbour and all Mississippians, but we first needed to fully utilize our existing facilities as the economy slowed,” said Yoshimi Inaba, president and CEO of Toyota Motor North America. “Now it’s time to fulfill Toyota’s promise in Mississippi. Toyota remains committed to making vehicles where we sell them and to maintaining a substantial manufacturing presence in North America.”
The building is essentially complete, with most of the remaining work involving the installation of equipment.