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Nummi facility in Fremont, Calif.  (Source: The Auto Channel)
The last auto manufacturing plant on the west coast will close, Toyota confirms

The last remaining auto-making facility on the west coast will close in March now that Toyota confirmed rumors the plant will close at some point next year.

Toyota's board voted to halt production at the Nummi plant in Fremont, California, a facility built in 1984 that Toyota shared with General Motors.  GM ended the partnership several months ago, which immediately started rumors of a possible plant closure sometime in 2010.

The Nummi plant produces the Toyota Corolla, Matrix, and Tacoma along with the Pontiac Vibe (which is being killed along with the Pontiac brand).

United Auto Workers union members have entered negotiations with New United Motor Manufacturing officials, attempting to see if there is any way Toyota will keep the factory open longer.  The Nummi facility served as Toyota's first  manufacturing foray in the United States, with Nummi employees saying it was them who helped shape Toyota's success.

Toyota, which hasn't had to close a plant outside Japan, was rumored to announce the plant's closure last spring.  Nummi currently employs 4,600 employees, and if Toyota halts production, then the plant's closure will put all of those employees out of work.  Furthermore, supports indicate the ripple effect from Nummi's closure could impact up to 50,000 people.

Toyota is expected to reduce worldwide capacity from 1 million vehicles down to 700,000, with the Nummi closure expected to help Toyota reach that goal.



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Every Auto Company is Global
By ElderTech on 8/28/2009 1:21:44 PM , Rating: 0
In today's economy, every auto company is global in nature. And most of the models sold in the US are built in the US, with parts from all over the world, including Toyota. The real issue with the plant in California is probably much more complex than we can know.

It's not that easy to shut down a facility from a corporate standpoint, not the least of which is simply inertia. The possible considerations would be age of infrastructure, age of and ability to utilize existing production equipment elsewhere, labor contracts and other legal considerations, asset value when disabled, and logistics of location.

You'll notice most of the auto manufacturing faciities are located in the middle of the country, from Michigan through Ohio and Indiana, and south through Tennesee, etc. This makes it much easier to direct distribution either East or West where it's needed, without being stuck on one coast or the other. It also most likely provides a lower available labor cost due to the higher wage structures in California and the East Coast.

Finally, as for product quality, from almost every metric available, the Japanese auto makers have the highest rating, with Honda and Toyota products consistently at the top. Just look at the unbiased Consumer Reports ratings from this and previous years. Yes, the "Big Three" are much better than they were, particularly with certain models, with the entire scale compressing, but they still lag overall. And from a personal standpoint, I can attest to this conclusion, having driven mostly "American" brands over my approximately 2 million lifetime miles, including Plymouth, Chysler, Ford, Buick, Oldsmobile, Jeep and others. But eventually, the downtime in the shop was killing me and I switched to first Acura, and then Toyota, and have never looked back.




RE: Every Auto Company is Global
By Spuke on 8/28/2009 3:21:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Finally, as for product quality, from almost every metric available, the Japanese auto makers have the highest rating, with Honda and Toyota products consistently at the top. Just look at the unbiased Consumer Reports ratings from this and previous years. Yes, the "Big Three" are much better than they were, particularly with certain models, with the entire scale compressing, but they still lag overall.
Metrics? You mean like this one?
http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pre...

Where it shows Buick at the top of the list in vehicle Dependability? Or Mercury, Lincoln, Ford, Cadillac, and Chrysler ALL of above the industry average? Where's the lag here?


By CommodoreVic20 on 9/1/2009 9:01:15 AM , Rating: 2
WOW, that report said Jaguar ranked highest. I have personally have owned a Jaguar, my brother owns one now. I know several people that have owned Jaguars. Everyone I have met that has owned a Jaguar agrees, its probably the worse POS car ever made. I just lost total respect for JD.


By CommodoreVic20 on 9/1/2009 8:58:06 AM , Rating: 2
I can attest to your comments as well. I too have owned and driven most American brands before I switched to Japanese, Toyota and Honda. I've never looked back since. People can write up skewed reviews or other crap metrics, in my book American lags far behind to Japanese in every possible way. I hate to admit it but the American design, engineering, production quality don't compare, at least in my experience.


"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken














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