The pending closure of the NUMMI auto plant in Fremont is triggering an instant debate on the factors behind Toyota's decision.
The leading suspect, according to business lobbyists, is California's business climate.
The California Manufacturers & Technology Association today released a statement saying the state has been losing factory jobs at an alarming pace, in part because of high taxes and red tape. "These losses cannot be blamed solely on the recession. Our problems started long before the country's mortgage and stock market meltdowns," the association said.
Toyota's thought process may never be fully known. It's clear that the recession had something to do with this. Because of the weak economy, the company is severely plagued with over-capacity, and something had to give. NUMMI became an obvious target for closure when General Motors pulled out of the joint venture that ran the plant with Toyota.
But business lobbyists will no doubt point to the fact that Toyota will continue making NUMMI's products at other plants in North America. The Corolla will be made in Cambridge, Ontario, and the Tacoma pickup will be made in San Antonio, Texas.