Toyota To Halt Mississippi Plant, Plans For US Prius Production

The Carpocalypse comes to the South as the Wall Street Journal reports Toyota plans to delay production of its new plant outside Tupelo, Mississippi.

Toyota's plans to start production at a new plant it is building in Blue Springs, Mississippi have been altered by a steep decline in the sales of new cars and trucks (sales down 32% in November). The company will continue to finish construction of the building but will hold off on installing equipment at the plant, which was supposed to build the Toyota Prius.

This is an interesting development in a regional / political Civil War conflict pitting anti-union Republicans from southern states and their foreign automaker allies against Democrats in the north and their domestic automaker / union supporters. According to the NY Daily News, right-to-work states have given over $3 billion in subsidies and tax incentives to foreign-owned car companies since 1992.

Most importantly for southern Senators, Toyota has claimed it will cut no jobs at the plant but will merely delay production. Just to clarify here — southern Senators believe loaning the not-so-Big Three money so they can pay to put people to work building the next generation of fuel efficient American cars is bad. Giving Toyota and others free money to pay people not to work building Japanese cars is good.

We wonder if those Toyota employees in Missisippi will start Vandalizing Escapes.

[Wall Street Journal]