Toyota Exec Promises “Quick” Decision on NUMMI

Plant closure would cost Fremont in many ways

Toyota's top U.S. executive says the company will make a decision "as quickly as possible" on the fate of its Bay Area joint venture plant with General Motors.

Toyota's Yoshi Inaba said Monday the company is carefully evaluating its options for the Fremont plant, called New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. or NUMMI to everyone who lives here in the Bay Area.

General Motors is ending its joint venture with Toyota as part of its downsizing under bankruptcy. The plant currently makes the Pontiac Vibe station wagon for GM and the Corolla compact car and Tacoma pickup truck for Toyota at the Fremont plant.

It's a small part of the Toyota universe, but it is a huge part of Fremont.

Nummi is the largest private employer in Alameda County.  Some 4,700 work there, not to mention the trickle down effect a closure would cause on the nearby businesses who cater to the automaker.

The plant brings in $2.3 million a year in property taxes alone for the city of Fremont.  You might be surprised to know that Fremont is the Bay Area fourth-largest city.

The city would feel the loss as it already faces a $16 million budget shortfall.

It's only speculation, but there has been some of it that says Tesla Motors would be an obvious choice to move in to the plant IF Nummi closed. Tesla is also based in the Bay Area and has been scouting around for months for a location to build its Model S series. 

The Fremont facility has much plant that Tesla would need, but the idea keeps popping up on everything from Blogs to the corner coffee shop in Fremont.

As they say in television: Stay tuned.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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