Press Releases

Washington, DC – Members of California’s Delegation, led by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.), as well as U.S. Representative Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and 14 other House Members, today offered to work with Toyota to help keep the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc., (NUMMI) plant open. The facility, located in Fremont, CA, is a joint venture between General Motors (GM) and Toyota. GM announced in June that it will withdraw from the NUMMI venture.

Toyota is reportedly also considering a withdrawal, but Toyota officials have said no final decision has been made and the process will take some time.

California’s two senators and 15 House members wrote to Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Corporation, to emphasize the importance of the NUMMI plant to California’s economy and to offer to work with Toyota to see what can be done to keep the plant open. Closure of the facility would cost California 4,500 direct jobs and more than 35,000 indirect jobs.

Senator Feinstein recently spoke by phone with Yoshimi Inaba, President of Toyota Motor America, to indicate her willingness to work with Toyota to find solutions to keep the plant in operation. A number of other California members have also spoken to Toyota officials, expressing their concerns.

The letter is signed by Senators Feinstein and Boxer, as well as Representatives Stark, Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Jane Harman (D-Calif.), George Miller (D-Calif.), Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Bob Filner (D-Calif.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Mike Honda (D-Calif.), and Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.).

Below is the text of the letter sent by the California members:

July 23, 2009

Mr. Akio Toyoda
President
Toyota Corporation
1 Toyota-cho,
Toyota-shi, Aichi 471
Japan

Dear Mr. Toyoda:

We are writing to express our sincere interest regarding the future of New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc., (NUMMI) a General Motors-Toyota joint venture from which General Motors (GM) has announced that it will withdraw.  We are greatly concerned that GM’s decision creates uncertainty about NUMMI’s future.  We are eager to see that all interested parties come to the table to arrive at a solution that will secure NUMMI’s future.

We have followed the NUMMI experiment since it began in 1984, when one of your predecessors, Shoichiro Toyoda, brought the efficiency of the Toyota Production System, a model of lean manufacturing, to the San Francisco Bay area.  We watched with great pride as the Japanese management and production methods – under the leadership of Tatsuro Toyoda – succeeded, as the plant went from one shift to three, and as it emerged as a unique model factory that has produced a wide range of vehicles since the 1980s.  We are confident that you, as a former manager at NUMMI, can appreciate its unique history and value.

NUMMI has been a great asset to both California and the United States, demonstrating that American workers can build Toyota vehicles in a win-win for both.  Today NUMMI employs approximately 4,500 workers and is indirectly responsible for more than 35,000 jobs.  We deeply regret the fact that General Motors has determined that it must withdraw.

With thousands of jobs at stake, many of us have spoken with Toyota executives to express our concern in recent weeks.  We look forward to hearing from you about this matter, and we are eager to work together on this very important challenge.

Sincerely,

Senator Dianne Feinstein                                    
Senator Barbara Boxer
Representative Pete Stark                                              
Representative Mike Thompson
Representative Zoe Lofgren
Representative Barbara Lee
Representative Jerry McNerney
Representative Adam Schiff
Representative Jane Harman
Representative George Miller
Representative Sam Farr
Representative Bob Filner
Representative Grace Napolitano
Representative Linda Sanchez
Representative Jackie Speier
Representative Mike Honda
Representative Dennis Cardoza
                       
Cc:  Yoshimi Inaba, President of Toyota Motor America

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