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Leaders sweeten NUMMI package

Updated: 08/06/2009 09:53:05 PM PDT

State and local officials sweetened the pot of incentives they have dangled in front of Toyota Motor Corp. as it ponders the fate of the NUMMI auto plant in Fremont.

The enhancement of the previously disclosed package of financial inducements includes a facility to enable improved shipments to the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. factory, an application for federal stimulus money, and the potential for NUMMI to slash its electricity bills.

The prospective measures were sketched in a letter sent to the president and chief executive officer of Toyota Motor, Akio Toyoda. The letter was signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman and Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty.

“We understand that under present circumstances you are facing difficult business decisions,” the governor and the two local officials wrote. “Accordingly, state, regional and local authorities would like to assist Toyota to maintain manufacturing operations in California.”

Toyota says it will soon decide whether it will shut the NUMMI plant or continue to use the plant to build vehicles at the factory, which for a quarter-century was a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors Corp. Toyota is being forced to make a decision after GM decided to abandon the factory in July.

The package of incentives is not an 11th-hour desperation move by California politicians who hope to save NUMMI’s 4,700 jobs and millions of dollars in annual economic activity, Wasserman said.

“I don’t think this is a last-minute Hail Mary,” Wasserman said. “But I won’t say that I’m confident this will work.”

Among the proposals:

n”‚Union Pacific will direct shipments directly to NUMMI from Lathrop. The state is seeking $20 million to build an inter modal complex at NUMMI.

n”‚The state legislature is working on creation of enterprise zones and other tax breaks.

n”‚The city and county will seek $29 million in federal stimulus money.

n”‚Regional officials will allow NUMMI to buy electricity from a lower-cost provider, yet still use PG&E transmission lines.

“I’m not convinced Toyota is leaving NUMMI,” Wasserman said. “But at some point, we need to hear from Toyota to see if we are on track or off track, or what we still need to do.”

Matt Artz


  1. Over the course of the past few days I have gotten face time with the following Senators and made them aware of the situation at NUMMI; as a private citizen that is all I had the power to do. I have also mentioned specifically, the idea of Tesla moving there. They all showed a tremendous amount of appreciativeness and commended me for pursuing and lobbying them.Something, much of their staff told me, our elected officials should be doing. I did all this so that if and when a worse-case scenario involving NUMMI does happen, our national lawmakers will already know about it.


    John McCain
    Arlen Specter
    Sam Brownback
    Joe Lieberman
    Mark Udall
    Tom Harken
    Jeff Sessions
    Judd Gregg
    Tom Coburn
    Al Franken
    Tom Harken
    Richard Durbin
    Rolan Burress

    Briefed Staff of:

    All of the above+

    Jeff Bingaman
    Byron Dorgan
    Tim Johnson
    Mary Landrieu
    Evan Bayh
    Debbie Stabenow
    Jeanne Shaheen
    Barbara Boxer
    Richard Burr
    Bob Corker

    It saddens me that I had to use my summer doing the job of an elected official when I am not yet one. I didn’t spend a single dime of campaign money on travel expenses during this trip. It was purely self funded and on my own time that I came to Washington DC. But, if I hadn’t done it, nobody else would have. I can’t afford to take the risk of more time being wasted on NUMMI. Every job counts; even as a private citizen I’m going to do my best not to allow the loss of even one. You were absolutely right in saying you weren’t going to report on Anu and Bill’s respective summers. I think the biggest reason behind that is because they aren’t doing much for their constituents during their recess. Over my summer break I’ve been walking 5 miles to the capitol every day, fighting tooth and nail for the people of Fremont.

    check out the pics of me with them on facebook!


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