BLUE SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) - Toyota celebrated the start of Corolla production at its newest U.S. auto plant Thursday after a lengthy delay that the car maker blamed on a weak economy.
The ceremony formally marked the start of production last month, almost five years after Toyota Motor Corp. announced in February 2007 that it would build a sprawling facility in Blue Springs, a tiny town in the sparsely populated hills of north Mississippi.
Toyota Motor Corp. president Akio Toyoda, on hand for the ceremony, blamed the setback on the economy but said the time was now right for production.
It is the 14th plant in North America for the Japanese company, which builds 12 models in North America.