Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Interesting turn of events

Toyota Motor Corp. said on Tuesday it will build a new plant in the United States, the latest sign of its pressing need for capacity to keep up with booming demand, with media reports placing the factory in the southern state of Mississippi.

Japanese business daily Nikkei reported earlier that the plant, to cost around 100 billion yen ($830 million), would have capacity to build 150,000 units a year and would produce the
Highlander sport utility vehicle starting in 2009.

A separate report from Kyodo news agency put the investment figure at 200 billion yen and output capacity at 200,000 units a year. The plant will create about 2,000 new jobs, Kyodo also said, citing sources familiar with the matter.

American auto manufacturers have routinely opposed fuel efficiency initiatives. Why? It would hurt them competitively, they say. Well, a company that has higher efficiency standards overall is opening plants in the US, while US auto manufacturers are closing plants and laying off workers. So fuel efficiency is bad for business?

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