Thursday, July 23, 2009

Toyota to End Calif. Joint Venture with GM

Just last week I posted a blog entry discussing how California lawmakers were struggling to find a way to save the State’s last remaining auto plant. However, earlier today I came across this Associated Press article published by the announcing that Toyota Motor Corporation has indeed decided to liquidate its joint venture with General Motors. For those of you who do not recall, the plant assembled vehicles for both Toyota and GM. However, just because Toyota is pulling out does not mean the factory will close, but it does not give GM a short time frame to decide the fate of the factory and the 6,400 California taxpayers it employs. Check out a clip from the AP story below, or check out the full article below.

Toyota Motor Corp. has decided to liquidate its stake in a California manufacturing plant that it jointly operated with General Motors, a Japanese news agency reported Thursday.

The Japanese carmaker will begin negotiating with the "Old GM" starting next week, Kyodo News reported, citing unnamed company officials.

Toyota spokesman Mike Goss would not confirm that the Japanese automaker had made a final decision on the fate of Fremont, Calif.-based New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., also known as NUMMI. Goss said Toyota will begin negotiations with the GM officials about the plant and added that the company is conducting an "extensive review" of its production needs.

A GM spokeswoman was not immediately available to comment.

Nummi's fate was thrown into question last month when GM announced it was withdrawing from the 50-50 joint venture. GM emerged from bankruptcy protection shortly after the announcement and the company's stake in NUMMI is now part of Motors Liquidation Co. - also known as Old GM - where it will be liquidated under court supervision.

The NUMMI plant, established in 1984, employs 4,600 workers and makes the Pontiac Vibe station wagon for GM, and the Corolla compact car and Tacoma pickup truck for Toyota.

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