News

Should federal stimulus money save NUMMI plant?

Lt. Gov. Garamendi wants 'to do anything we can' to keep carmaker open

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi said Wednesday that he thinks federal stimulus money should be used as one of several steps to help keep the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont open.

NUMMI is a 25-year-old joint venture between General Motors and Toyota and Garamendi said he thinks it's too big to fail.

GM announced in June that it will withdraw from the partnership and Toyota, which is still making Toyota Corolla cars and Toyota Tacoma trucks at the Fremont facility, said two weeks ago that it is also considering withdrawing from the joint venture but a final decision hasn't yet been made.

Garamendi said that at a meeting of the California Commission for Economic Development, which he chairs, in Livermore on Thursday he will present information showing that the possible closure of the NUMMI plant is a statewide issue because it works with a vast supplier network of more than 1,000 companies located in 35 counties in the state and employing 20,000 people.

He said a total of 35,000 jobs are at risk, including those of the 4,700 people who work at the plant.

In a phone interview, Garamendi said the Obama administration announced Wednesday that it is awarding grants to Ford, General Motors and other manufacturers to develop alternative vehicle technology, so he thinks "NUMMI should get part of it" as well.

Garamendi said he also hopes that Toyota will still consider building its popular Prius cars at the NUMMI plant even though the carmaker said it would build the cars at a new facility in Louisiana instead.

He said that he's been told that the new plant in Louisiana "is not moving forward at this time" so he thinks stimulus money would be an incentive for Toyota to build Priuses in Fremont.

"We want to make sure that Toyota knows we want them in California and will do anything we can to keep them in California," Garamendi said.

Bay City News,Jeb Bing

Comments

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Posted by Pat
a resident of Val Vista
on Aug 6, 2009 at 8:01 am

I believe that Toyota should be saved. I remember as a teenager when GM closed in Fremont. So may families lost. Kids coming to school with worn, old clothes and sad eyes. It was devastating for so many people. NUMMI has been a good partner in the community and we are talking about a vast amount of jobs lost outside of the Fremont plant. I do believe that 35,000 jobs will be lost from that one plant. We are not in the position to have more unemployment in California. We need to save jobs. This is that type of case. It is not for the company as much as for the people.


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Posted by Ferdie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2009 at 8:43 am

Honestly I cannot figure out why Toyota would want to stay in California or in that facility. High wages, high taxes, high environmental regulations, high transportation costs and not to mention they have been stiffed by not only GM walking out but our own federal government insisting that the venture be included in "old GM". It is really sad that all of those people will lose those $30 per hour jobs but honestly Garamendi and his democratic cronies are the ones partly responsible for driving up the costs of doing business in this state. Kudos to Toyota for sticking with it this long and shows why they are a class act.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 6, 2009 at 2:07 pm

I think the local government and state should do what it can to keep NUMMI as its closing will have a large negative impact. More importantly though, my understanding is that NUMMI is the only Toyota facility utilizing a unionized work force. If that is true, Toyota has a reputation for making decisions based on the long term effects. I can't see Toyota making a long term commitment to one plant with a unionized workforce and operating other plants without it - it just doesn't make sense (provided NUMMI is the only union Toyota facility).


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Posted by Ferdie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm

I just looked it up and you are right as NUMMI is the only unionized plant and keep in mind it is not a Toyota plant but rather a seperate company owned 50% by Toyota and 50% by now the US Government so I cannot figure out why the government would just let them twist in the wind like they are.


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Posted by bob
a resident of Valley Trails
on Aug 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Let them close. California's high costs make it tough to work with.


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Posted by I'm with Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2009 at 8:46 pm

It's time to let the chips fall where they may - we can't continue to rescue every business.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 7, 2009 at 9:25 am

Ferdie - Union workforce and partially government owned?! Easy decision.

bob, I'm with Bob - I would rather rescue NUMMI, a company that actually produces an actual product, than pumping another couple hundred million into the executive bonus plans for those in the Financial Sector who over leveraged themselves through secondary and tertiary investments.


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Posted by I'm with Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2009 at 9:30 am

Pleasanton Parent,

I don't think either should be done. Let them both fail. Let them all fail and regroup and come out stronger. The only people that really want to keep the plant around are people who are employed - and that's not an objective position to make business decisions from.

Apparently, Ford is doing something right in the auto industry since they haven't needed any money from the tax payers. A failed business model is a failed business model - why deter the inevitable with an injection of tax payer money? Toyota should get out while they can - CA is too hostile to businesses.


Like this comment
Posted by Ken in South Pleasanton
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 7, 2009 at 9:46 am

Keep NUMMI open with stimulus money. Both the Bush and Obama administrations commited billions of dollars to stimulus plans, only to see continued loss of jobs. These jobs, and the supplier jobs depending on NUMMI, deserve to be saved. More unemployed means fewer tax dollars in the state coffers and higher costs for all California residents. This should be a wakeup call to our state legislators that action must be taken now to encourage rather than discourage business development in California. Otherwise, we will be the burger-flipping capitol of the world with low-paying part-time jobs for all.


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Posted by bob
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 7, 2009 at 10:26 am

it would never happen because it was the Obama administration who placed GM's portion of it in "old GM". The interesting part is that I bet 90% of those union workers at NUMMI voted for Obama. Wonder if they are happy about their choice now?


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 9, 2009 at 10:58 pm

I'm with Bob - "The only people who want NUMMI around are those it employs"

Definitely not true. One would be foolish not to realize the large impact of NUMMI closing - especially in California. Aside from the direct workforce NUMMI employs there is the indirect labor that is made up by NUMMI's suppliers, transportation companies, etc. The city of Fremont schools obviously benefit from the plants tax revenue as not to mention nearby restaurants and other "fringe" businesses. I'm not advocating a total "bailout" but letting NUMMI fail does have deep and far reaching consequences.

Ken - I know this might sound contradictory in comparison to my last post, however IMO no business "deserves" to be saved. I call question to your word choice because it implies one of the things that I personally feel is contributing to the economic hardship our local communities and state are dealing with - entitlement.


I think there is an area between doing what we can to keep NUMMI and a total "bailout". My personal opinion is the city and state should evaluate the overall contribution made by NUMMI and develop a plan that encourages NUMMI to stay within the limits of what they're capable of doing. Whatever concessions are made should not exceed the benefit of the "investment" and there should be a quantifiable and measurable ROI on this "investment". Furthermore, I think the city and state should take a much stronger approach to attracting and encouraging new and emerging technologies/companies into operating out of the Bay Area. The manufacturing restrictions on medical devices and low volume tend to make offshoring of these items prohibitive - not to mention the need and demand is high. The talent pool is already here, so make this area an attractive place to set up shop. My $0.02


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Posted by Ferdie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2009 at 12:18 pm

It appears that we want NUMMI open more than the union wants it open. In the midst of contract negotiations the union is unwilling to give up anything related to wages even though they make 20% more than any other plant and have not made money since 1992. The government (Obama) and GM abandons Toyota and leaves Toyota with a mess. If the government, GM, and the workers do not care why should Toyota?


Like this comment
Posted by Ryan
a resident of Mariposa Ranch
on Aug 14, 2009 at 9:42 am

There is no Louisiana plant. The new one which is now idle, is in Tupelo, Mississippi. And NUMMI should close; most of the suppliers are in the midwest. The transportation costs for the parts and the CA labor costs are way out of line in comparison to the rest of Toyota's North America assembly plants.


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Posted by Ferdie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 17, 2009 at 10:49 am

Here is the latest on the plant in Fremont and it appears as if Toyota is going to walk away from the plant. Honestly, I cannot blame them because if our government forced GM to walk away from it why shouldn't Toyota.

Toyota Motor To Reportedly End Production At NUMMI Plant By March ...


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Posted by Ferdie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 17, 2009 at 10:51 am

Oops! here is the link



Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by arthur
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm

I am a Nummi employee, im losing my house, my car, my health ins. now, i make 29 dollars an hour, now match that up with how much of your tax dollars will go to treating me in the emergency room, and public assistance. be carful your job may be next.


Like this comment
Posted by Johnny
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 23, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Arthur sorry about you losing your job but on the other hand how many of the members at NUMMI do you believe voted for Obama and look what he has done to you know. Insisted that you be included in bad GM and threw you under the bus.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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