Mississippi still in Toyota’s plans

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 6, 2009

FULTON (AP) — The former senior vice president for Toyota Motor North America says he expects the automaker to open its Northeast Mississippi plant when the economy gets better.

Dennis Cuneo told an audience Wednesday at Itawamba Community College that there’s no truth to rumors Toyota wants to abandon its Blue Springs assembly plant.

Cuneo, now an adviser to Toyota and its suppliers, says Toyota delayed the project in December to conserve cash.

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He says all companies are doing that right now as the economy deteriorates.

The plant was scheduled to begin production of the Prius hybrid vehicle in late 2010.

Cuneo isn’t sure when the plant will open but he says he is convinced the company won’t abandon the site after already investing $300 million in it.