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Toyota to Shift Site of Truck Production

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday that it will shift production of all its compact pickup trucks sold in the United States to its assembly plant in Northern California, raising the possibility of additional jobs at the Fremont site.

Last year, Toyota built 116,000 compact trucks at the Fremont plant and imported another 66,000 from Japan, Toyota spokeswoman Nancy Hubble said. But no decisions will be made on hiring additional workers until new production levels for the plant are determined, she said.

Toyota has been considering the shift in production for several months. Japanese auto firms have been moving more and more production to this country as the dollar’s fall against the yen makes Japanese goods more expensive here. In addition, imported trucks have been slapped with a 25% tax for years.

The production shift will begin in January.

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The New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont, jointly owned by Toyota and General Motors Corp., makes the Toyota Corolla and Geo Prizm cars in addition to the compact trucks. The facility employs 4,250.

Additional production would create more jobs. However, it wasn’t clear whether some auto production will be moved elsewhere to accommodate the truck increase or whether the plant will be expanded.


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