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Toyota Celebrates Production Start At Miss. Plant

The celebration of the first production Corolla at the plant comes almost five years after the $1.3 billion Blue Springs facility was announced.

BLUE SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — After a lengthy delay due the sluggish economy, Toyota plans to roll out its first car Thursday at its newest North American plant in a highly anticipated event expected to draw business and government leaders to this tiny town in north Mississippi.

The celebration of the first production Corolla at the  plant comes almost five years after Toyota Motor Corp. announced in February 2007 that it would build a $1.3 billion facility in Blue Springs.

The company first planned to build the Highlander SUV, then the gas-electric Prius before settling on Corollas. Production was planned for 2010, but Toyota blamed the weak economy for the delay.

Mississippi officials anticipate an economic boom in this sparsely populated region as suppliers and other companies follow Toyota to Mississippi.

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