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Toyota may offer GM a Prius version

Toyota is considering making its hybrid Prius model at a California plant it has been sharing with General Motors. Toyota is considering making its hybrid Prius model at a California plant it has been sharing with General Motors. (Associated Press)
Bloomberg News / June 30, 2009
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LOS ANGELES - Toyota Motor Corp. may offer to supply a version of its Prius hybrid car to General Motors Corp., two people familiar with the plan said.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda and GM’s Fritz Henderson will meet in Michigan in August, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan is not public. A GM-badged car based on the Prius is among the options for new products at a jointly owned factory in California, after GM said it would end assembly of the Pontiac Vibe there.

GM said yesterday that it will shed its stake in the factory as part of its bankruptcy restructuring. Toyota said it will explore options for the factory after what a spokesman described as a “long, successful partnership spanning 25 years.’’

Toyota is considering the California plant as a Prius production site after shelving plans to make the gasoline-electric car in Mississippi, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg earlier this month.

“Having a stronger lineup is an urgent matter for GM,’’ said Yoshihiro Okumura of Chiba-gin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “Demand will continue to shift to small cars.’’