Plummeting truck sales last week forced Toyota Motor Corp.'s hand on a difficult decision — moving the hot-selling Prius hybrid to a U.S. factory.
Toyota had been reluctant to let its fast-rising hybrid star get away from its protective watch in Japan. But with consumers shunning pickup trucks and SUVs, Toyota said last week that it will move the Prius not just to America but to a greenfield site in Mississippi with untested workers.
The Blue Springs, Miss., plant had been scheduled to assemble the High-lander SUV.
Sources familiar with the plans said that only a week before the announcement, Toyota officials were still debating whether Prius production should move to the United States.