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Monthly Archives: December 2008

Toyota halts U.S. Prius project

Lindsay Chappell NASHVILLE — Toyota Motor Corp., with its sales plunging in the United States, is freezing its plan to build the Toyota Prius in a new plant near Tupelo, Miss. For how long? The automaker doesn’t know. Toyota’s board in Japan reached the decision late today to halt the project “due to the steep decline” in U.S. sales. Sales of the hybrid car have softened in recent weeks as gasoline prices dropped from a summer spike of more than $4 a gallon. The Prius sold 8,660 units in November, down from 16,737 in November 2007. Total Toyota sales in the United States fell 32 percent in November. This is the second time Toyota has changed plans on the $1.3 billion Mississippi project, which already has begun to draw component suppliers to the area. In February 2007, Toyota announced it would spend $1.3 billion there to produce a new generation of Highlander crossovers. But after Toyota broke ground, SUV sales began to soften. In July of this year, Toyota said ... read more

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Volvo’s Future

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. said today it will consider the sale of Volvo Car Corp. as it explores “strategic options” for the Swedish brand. Ford said it would review its options for Volvo because of the significant decline in the global auto market and severe worldwide economic instability. The company expects the review to take several months to complete. A possible sale of Volvo would help Ford strengthen its balance sheet, officials said. It is part of Ford’s efforts to make sure it has enough resources to introduce an array of new products intended to turn around the automaker’s financial fortunes. “Given the unprecedented external challenges facing Ford and the entire industry, it is prudent for Ford to evaluate options for Volvo,” said Ford CEO Alan Mulally DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. said today it will consider the sale of its Volvo Car Corp. unit as it explores “strategic options” for the money-losing Swedish brand. Ford said it was reviewing options ... read more

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