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April 1, 2010

US: Toyota ends production at NUMMI

Toyota has today ended production at its joint manufacturing plant in California with General Motors with leaving behind deep local resentment according to local media reports.

Toyota has today ended production at its joint manufacturing plant in California with General Motors with leaving behind deep local resentment according to local media reports.

New United Motor Manufacturing Inc, a 50-50 joint venture better known as NUMMI, was in the vanguard of Toyota’s entry into the US market 25 years ago. It helped establish the company’s reputation in the country.

The plant at Fremont, California was founded in 1984 at the height of Japan-US auto trade friction. Friction that has returned following Toyota’s massive recall programme in the US and its decision to pull out of the NUMMI venture in the face of the global economic crisis.

Toyota said it is not financially viable to maintain production after GM withdrew following its bankruptcy last summer.

Local businesses have criticised Toyota’s decision, with many of the 4,500 employees at NUMMI still unable to find new jobs. According to estimates by US media, the shutdown is likely to affect over 20,000 people, including suppliers and other indirect jobs across California.

The San Jose Mercury News said: “’Toyota needs to take full responsibility. Despite all its self-inflicted problems, Toyota has plenty of money and, if it doesn’t recognise its responsibility here, our politicians need to grow a backbone and make sure it does.”

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