Toyota Corollas to be Built in America At New Mississippi Plant
Toyota has announced that its new plant in Mississippi will produce the popular Corolla model when it begins production in the fall of 2011.
Toyota Resumes Construction on Blue Springs Plant
The new plant, located a few miles north of Tupelo in Blue Springs, Mississippi, has actually been under construction since 2007, but faced with the economic slump that came soon after breaking ground, the automaker was forced to halt building. With sales now reviving and the industry’s future looking more certain, the Toyota Corporation recently resumed construction on the existing facility. When the plant is opened for production, it is expected to employ around 2,000 workers.
Initial plans were to produce the Highland SUV there, and later the company proposed rolling the hybrid Prius of the line in response to rising gas prices. This June, however, Toyota announced that the plant would instead produce the company’s second-highest selling vehicle, the Corolla.
Moving Corolla Production Back to the States
In a press release from the automaker, Yoshimi Inaba, president and CEO of Toyota Motor North America, emphasized the company’s commitment to the Mississippi plant. “Now it’s time to fulfill Toyota’s promise in Mississippi,” said Inaba. “Toyota remains committed to making vehicles where we sell them and to maintaining a substantial manufacturing presence in North America.”
The State of Mississippi is also committed to the success of the new plant, investing millions of dollars in supportive infrastructure, such as highway access for plant suppliers. The Blue Springs factory marks the return of Corolla production to the United States.
After the closing of a California plant, production of the model was moved from the States to factories in Japan and Canada. With new production at the Blue Springs plant, nearly all of the Corollas produced for the North American market will be made in North America. The plant is expected to roll out 150,000 vehicles per year.
One of the World’s Favorite Vehicles
The Corolla is currently the Toyota Corporation’s second-best selling car (behind the Camry), but since its introduction in the 1960s, it has become the best selling model of car in world with more than 30 million vehicles sold in more than 100 countries, and consistently ranks among the top sellers in the United States.