The United Auto Workers and its union allies have quietly launched a campaign aimed at pressuring Toyota not to close the NUMMI plant in California now threatened by the break-up of a long-standing joint venture between the Japanese maker and General Motors.
The e-mail-based campaign is urging supporters of the UAW to call their Congressmen and encourage them to keep the plant in Fremont, California open.
The factory, originally a GM plant, has been running for a quarter century as part of an alliance between the two erstwhile competitors. Toyota originally saw the joint venture as a way to test the possibility of producing cars in the U.S., while GM hoped to learn about Japanese manufacturing techniques.
The U.S. maker decided to abandon its position in NUMMI after emerging from bankruptcy since it is dropping the Pontiac brand and the marque’s Vibe is the only GM model now made at Fremont. Without its U.S. partner, Toyota has said it had little interest in retaining NUMMI, its only unionized American factory.