GM may help satisfy the growing demand for Toyota hybrids as gas prices continue to rise.
Edmunds - May 30, 2008
TOKYO — While Toyota is insisting that "nothing has been decided about building the Prius at NUMMI," a Japanese newspaper says the automaker is in talks with General Motors about building the popular hybrid at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., or NUMMI, in Fremont, California.
Such a move would help to satisfy the growing demand among U.S. consumers for hybrids as gas prices continue to rise. It would also give the Japanese automaker the advantage of slapping a "Made in USA" label on the Prius, as a nod to the "buy American" crowd.
"We are always considering what should be the optimum structure of our production efforts, but nothing has been decided about building the Prius at NUMMI," said Toyota Motor Corporation in a statement issued late Thursday night.
The Tokyo Shimbun newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said Toyota is currently in talks with GM about building the world's first mass-produced gas-electric hybrid in the U.S. The NUMMI joint venture makes the Toyota Corolla, Matrix and Tacoma, and the Pontiac Vibe. The Prius is currently built in Japan and China.
Toyota announced in May that sales of the Prius topped 1 million vehicles since the launch in Japan in 1997.
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