Toyota committed to Blue Springs

Toyota says it has no plans to relocate the 120 employees it has hired for its $1.3 billion Blue Springs, Miss., plant despite a published report to the contrary.

The Automotive News reported Wednesday that Toyota will move the employees, who are undergoing training until the economy improves and the company forges ahead with production, to its manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Ky.

Most production equipment will not be installed in the Blue Springs plant, about 70 miles southeast of Memphis, until demand for vehicles picks up.

Toyota initially said it would build the Highlander SUV at Blue Springs, but shifted plans to the high-mileage Prius hybrid after gasoline prices skyrocketed last summer.

The report of employees leaving the state for Kentucky was attributed to Steve St. Angelo, senior vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc.

Commercial Appeal