From the Birmingham News in Alabama:
Full article at Link: http://www.al.com/news/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/base/news/1218788177235470.xml&coll=2Among the big-name auto operations in the state, Toyota appears to have the most extreme response to the current automotive sales slump.
The Japanese automaker has suspended U.S. production of certain trucks and sport utilities. As a result, its 900-worker plant in Huntsville that produces engines for those vehicles has slashed production levels and recently laid off 93 temporary employees.
The temps, which were not included in the overall plant work force number, had a variety of posts but mostly worked on the assembly line, said spokeswoman Stephanie Deemer. Until November, the plant has stopped producing V-8 engines, which represent about two-thirds of total output.
Meanwhile, the plant continues to turn out V-6 engines, and employees are involved in non-production duties, Deemer said.
"They're focusing on training and process improvements, cleaning activities and machine maintenance that we're not able to do when the lines are running full-time," she said. "Employees also are being challenged to find ways to cut costs and improve quality and safety, so once we resume production, we'll be stronger."
Recent reports say Toyota is looking to shuffle workers among vehicle assembly plants in Indiana, Texas and Kentucky. While the Huntsville plant is investigating whether its employees should be sent to other projects, Deemer said they are focused on activities in Alabama.