Prius Still Set to be Built in Mississippi ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Prius Still Set to be Built in Mississippi

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Prius Still Set to be Built in Mississippi

Toyota still has plans to build the Prius at the plant in Mississippi, not in Fremont, CA.  But it doesn't matter anyways, since Toyota is not going to start building the Prius anywhere in the US in the near term.

According to a story in Bloomberg, Toyota was considering moving their production to Fremont, CA, to a plant they share with GM. But Edmunds followed up with an official from Toyota who denied the story.

Toyota is considering making Priuses at a California plant it shares with General Motors, not a factory in Mississippi where production of the popular hybrid had been planned, Bloomberg reported today, citing two unnamed sources.

But Mike Goss, external affairs manager with Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, or TEMA, said "we haven't changed our plans to build Prius in Mississippi. Nothing's changed."
The Bloomberg story also quoted a Wiseman who stated there was no plans to build the Prius in California.
“The plan is still to build Prius in Mississippi as soon as demand and this economy turn around,” said Jim Wiseman, vice president of external affairs for Toyota’s North American manufacturing unit. Wiseman said he’s unaware of discussion within Toyota to produce the hybrid in California.
So, it looks like California is out, Mississippi is in.  But it doesn't really matter since demand for the Prius has been off (just like every other car in the US) since the recession hit.  According to the spokesman from Toyota, it's only if demand picks up again that Toyota will begin producing the Prius inside the US.

But I would guess there's another possibility.  If the demand in Japan continues to be strong, they might begin production in the US so that they can move more Prius in Japan. They've already increased production there by 25% (going from 400K to 500K).  If the Prius remains at the top of the sales ladder, plus continues to receive pre-orders at the same rate as they have been... But that's a couple of big ifs.

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