Toyota delays new Mississippi plant

Toyota Motor Corp. says it will delay opening its new plant in Blue Springs, Miss., indefinitely as it copes with the downturn in the auto industry.

The plant northwest of Tupelo was scheduled to begin production in 2010 and make the Prius hybrid.

Toyota spokesman Mike Goss says the plant's construction is about 90 percent complete. He says the company will finish building the plant but will indefinitely delay the installation of equipment.

Goss says the roughly 100 people who have been hired to oversee construction and human resources at the plant will not lose their jobs.

The plant was initially to be up and running in late 2009 or early 2010, but earlier this year, Toyota pushed the date back to mid-2010 after seeing signs of a slowdown in the U.S. auto market.

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