Ontario plant to build Corollas

WASHINGTON — Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it plans to end production in March 2010 at a California joint venture where it has built vehicles with General Motors and move some of the production to Canada.

WASHINGTON — Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it plans to end production in March 2010 at a California joint venture where it has built vehicles with General Motors and move some of the production to Canada.

The decision would mean the shutdown of the sole auto assembly plant on the West Coast if no other carmaker emerges to keep it going.

Toyota’s board voted early Thursday to end the company’s production contract at the Fremont, Calif.-based New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., spokeswoman Cindy Knight confirmed.

Toyota said Friday that production of the Corolla subcompact will be moved to its Cambridge, Ont., plant, as well as to Japan.

It said Tacoma pickups, another model made in the NUMMI plant, will be produced at its plant in San Antonio, Tex.

Toyota had said previously that it was moving toward liquidating its stake in the California facility after the plant’s fate was thrown into question in June when GM announced it was withdrawing from the 50-50 joint venture. General Motors Co. emerged from bankruptcy and the company’s stake in NUMMI is now part of Motors Liquidation Co. — also known as Old GM — where it will be liquidated.

The NUMMI plant, set up in 1984, employs 4,600 workers. Toyota builds the Corolla compact and the Tacoma pickup truck at the plant and until recently GM built the Pontiac Vibe.

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