Toyota says it will end production at joint venture with GM | autos | Hindustan Times
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Toyota says it will end production at joint venture with GM

autos Updated: Aug 28, 2009 13:36 IST

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Toyota Motor Corp on Friday said it will end vehicle production at its 25-year-old joint manufacturing plant in California with General Motors Co next March 31.

This is likely to lead to the first-ever shutdown of a factory of this scale by the world's biggest automaker.

Toyota's decision to end production at the plant, called New United Motor Manufacturing Inc, was anticipated as GM said it will withdraw from the NUMMI operation after it emerged from bankruptcy in June.

Atsushi Niimi, Toyota's executive vice president for North America, called the decision "most unfortunate," but it will mark one of Toyota's first steps in departing from an expansionist policy that has led to overcapacity, especially during a global auto slump.

"In view of the market downturn since last year and with the exit of GM's production vehicles, it would not be economically viable over the mid- to long-term to continue," Niimi said at a teleconference from Nagoya.

"We deeply regret having to take this action."

With the pullout from the factory in Fremont, California, Toyota will move the manufacturing of the Tacoma pickup truck to a Texas factory while the Corolla car will be temporarily produced in factories in Canada and Japan.