Toyota Hopes to Continue NUMMI Venture, Could Buy Out GM Stake
With GM completely shuttering its Pontiac brand, the future of the bankrupt automaker’s joint venture with Toyota, the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) plant, has been a big point of speculation.
Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe told reporters that he hopes to continue operations at the NUMMI plant with GM, and even said his company would consider aiding GM in its restructuring plans if approached.
But GM CEO Fritz Henderson has said there would be no need for NUMMI after Pontiac disappears. Currently, the NUMMI plant produces the Pontiac Vibe crossover, along with the Toyota Corolla sedan and Tacoma pickup. Henderson added that nothing had been decided regarding NUMMI at this point.
Toyota spokesman Hideaki Homma said the Japanese company has not received any proposals from GM regarding how to go forward with the venture. If GM declines to continue its partnership with Toyota, Homma said Toyota had two options:
“We can continue by taking over GM’s share or quit the California production project,” he said. A takeover of GM’s stake at NUMMI could be a healthy investment for Toyota, which could avoid heavy profit hits from importing vehicles by increasing production in the U.S instead.
Source: Automotive News