Toyota has decided to go forward and finish off the small details at its newly built plant in Tupelo, Mississippi. Work on the plant began back in 2006, but the company halted completion last December due to a dwindling economy and potential financial issues. The outside of the manufacturing facility is complete, though it lacks any car manufacturing equipment inside.
In order to reduce the impact of the yen versus the dollar, the company has decided to complete the facility. The recent move towards completion of the Mississippi plant is being reported by the Nikkei newspaper in Japan. According to the report, the company aims to have the facility operational by the end of March in 2011.
Once completed, the facility will likely become the production center for the Prius hybrid as well as other models. This facility will be the first Prius production facility in the U.S. The move to production here in the U.S. could position Toyota to make a larger profit off of Prius models by avoiding the yen to dollar ratio.
Toyota was asked about the Tupelo, Mississippi plant project and spokesperson Barbara McDaniel stated, "Nothing has changed on the project. We continue looking at our options, but there has been no decision on when that project will resume."
Source: Nikkei Newspaper Japan (login required)