Toyota's Prius Goes Red, White & Blue

Toyota is currently in the process of building a new vehicle construction plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi. This plant was originally designed for the manufacture of their Highlander SUV line. However, increasing oil prices and decreasing SUV sales have convinced Toyota to use the plant for their Prius hybrid instead. Currently, the only other Toyota hybrid manufactured in the U.S. is the Camry, which is manufactured in Kentucky.

This is good news for Prius buyers who can feel even better about buying the flagship hybrid because it is manufactured in the U.S., where labor and environmental standards are higher. It also means that the vehicle will travel less distance to car lots, lessoning the need for shipping fuel.

In addition to building the Prius in Blue Springs, Toyota is suspending construction of their large Tundra trucks and their biggest SUV, the Sequoia, until November. Production of their V8 engines has also been suspended.

Of course, suspension of automobile manufacturing is very bad for people who rely on that industry for their living. Hopefully demand for hybrids and fuel efficient vehicles will increase to such a high level that all plants formerly used for SUVs and trucks will make the switch to these automobiles.

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