Prius Plant in Mississippi is Suspended ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Prius Plant in Mississippi is Suspended

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Prius Plant in Mississippi is Suspended

Whenever someone talks about how badly run the Big 3 are, and how come they need a bailout to save the US jobs, I have to wonder what they're talking about. With the economic downturn hitting all carmakers, it's a wonder any of them still have money to do anything with. Can you imagine Wal-Mart losing 1/3 to 1/2 of their business for six months or longer and still being in business?

The latest victim to fall is the plant in Mississippi for Toyota. Slated to begin production of the next generation Prius here in the US, completion of the plant has been 'indefinitely' suspended.  One month ago, Toyota had said no decisions had been made, yet, but the delay was being considered.

Construction will be finished, but equipment will not be installed. $300 million has already been invested in the plant.

"Due to the uncertainty of the market, it is impossible to say at this time when production will begin," Toyota said in a statement. "Toyota continues to evaluate its operations globally and reduce production as necessary to match the weak market."

“This is an unfortunate reminder that Mississippi is not immune to the global economic slowdown," U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker said in a press release Monday afternoon. "Today’s news is disappointing, but I am encouraged by Toyota’s commitment to finishing construction and to getting the Blue Springs plant operational as soon as market conditions allow. As a leading hybrid vehicle, the Prius has a very bright future in our country. And while it may have been delayed by the economic downturn, I am confident Mississippi workers will still play an important part of that future.”

The plant in Mississippi was begun with the intention of building Highlander SUVs, but the plans were changed and Prius production was supposed to begin in 2010

Delaying the plant production will likely affect other plans, such as building or buying batteries here in the US.

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