Motor Corp. will revisit “at some point next year” its decision to indefinitely suspend construction of the auto maker’s nearly completed plant in Blue Springs, MS, a spokesman says.
The site was scheduled to produce next-generation versions of the auto maker’s popularPrius hybrid sedan.
“Obviously, we’re going to keep our eyes on the market,” says Toyota’s Mike Goss. “If for some reason, things turned around, we could certainly get started again.”
The site is 90% complete, Goss says. But no tooling has been installed.
The move will not affect the planned 2010 introduction of the new Prius, nor its debut at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The car is currently exported to the U.S. from Japan. Blue Springs was to be its first U.S. production sites.
Light-vehicle sales are on a steep decline in the U.S., falling 36.7% last month vs. like-2007, according to Ward’s data.
Sales of hybrid cars plunged 53.1%. Prius deliveries plummeted 48.3%.
Confirmation of Toyota’s move follows reports from Japan last month that indicated the auto maker was contemplating the postponement of U.S. Prius production until 2011.
Goss says the auto maker does not know when production might begin.