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Toyota to Alter Plans for SUV, Truck Production in Favor of Building Prius in U.S.

Toyota is responding to changes in consumer demand and improving the production efficiency and stability of its North American operations by adjusting the production mix at three plants. The changes include the addition of the Prius hybrid sedan to its North American lineup. In addition, Toyota will temporarily suspend Tundra and Sequoia production beginning Aug. 8 due to the declining overall market for full-size trucks and SUVs.

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ERLANGER, Ky. — Toyota is responding to changes in consumer demand and improving the production efficiency and stability of its North American operations by adjusting the production mix at three plants. The changes include the addition of the Prius hybrid sedan to its North American lineup.

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Yesterday, Toyota announced that its Prius model will be built at a plant currently under construction in Blue Springs, Miss. Production is scheduled to begin in late 2010. Prius will join the Kentucky-built Camry Hybrid as the second Toyota hybrid built in North America.

The Highlander mid-size SUV, originally scheduled to be built in Mississippi, will now be manufactured in Princeton, Ind., beginning in Fall 2009. Production of the Tundra full-size pick-up truck, currently built in Indiana and Texas, will be consolidated at the company’s San Antonio plant in Spring 2009.

In addition, Toyota will temporarily suspend Tundra and Sequoia production beginning Aug. 8 due to the declining overall market for full-size trucks and SUVs. Production is scheduled to resume in early November. Team members at both facilities, as well as the Huntsville, Ala., plant that builds Tundra and Sequoia engines, will continue to be provided work.

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"The truck market continues to worsen, so unfortunately we must temporarily suspend production. But this good news about production mix demonstrates our long-term commitment to our North American operations and to our team members, supplier partners and communities where our plants are located," said Jim Wiseman, vice president/external affairs for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA). "By using this downturn as an opportunity to develop team members and improve our operations, we hope to emerge even stronger."

For more information about Toyota, visit: www.toyota.com.

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