After 93 years of major automaking plants in California , Toyota will shut down the last plant in March, 2010. This plant was a joint venture with General Motors, but GM pulled out as part of its reorganization after bankruptcy. Currently 4,700 people are employed there and Senator Feinstein has said that closing the plant could cost upward of 40,000 jobs. Corolla Production will now be done in Canada and Japan and Tacoma production will be moved to San Antonio, Texas. This will be the first time that Toyota has closed a major automobile assembly plant.

The automobile industry used to be very important to the state of California. California’s first plant was for General Motors in Oakland from 1916-1964. The Willy’s- Overland automobile factory was in Maywood, California from 1928-1954. Ford had a plant in Long Beach from 1930-1959. Chrysler had a plant in City of Commerce 1032-1971. Studebaker has an auto plant in Vernon from 1936-1956. General Motors opened another plant in South Gate 1936-1982. General Motor’s had plant number 3 in Van Nuys from 1947-1992. Nash had a plant in El Segundo from 1948-1955. Ford’s 2nd plant was in Milpitas 1955-1983. Ford’s 3rd auto plant was in Pico Rivera from 1957-1980. General Motor’s 4th plant was in Fremont 1962-1982. And then Nummi, the re-opening of the Fremont plant under both GM and Toyota from 1984-2010.

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“Cash for Clunkers” is finally came to a close and the figures are in. Almost 700,000 auto sales and car dealerships have submitted documents requesting $2.877 billion in rebates by the deadline. It was originally scheduled to run through November 1, 2009.

The Transportation department announced that the Ford Explorer was the most traded clunker and the Toyota Corolla was the most purchased vehicle. The following are lists of the top 10 purchased and traded in vehicles.

The Top 10 New Vehicles Purchased

1. Toyota Corolla
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Camry
4. Ford Focus
5. Hyundai Elantra
6. Nissan Versa
7. Toyota Prius
8. Honda Accord
9. Honda Fit
10. Ford Escape FWD

Top 10 Traded Vehicles

1. Ford Explorer 4WD
2. Ford F150 Pickup 2WD
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD
4. Ford Explorer 2WD
5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD
6. Jeep Cherokee
7. Chevrolet Blazer 4WD
8. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD
9. Ford F150 Pickup 4WD
10. Ford Windstar FWD Van

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The United States government announced today that it will end its successful “Cash for Clunkers Program” on Monday, August 24, after auto dealers have sold 457,000 cars since the program start on July 24, 2009. As a result Ford, GM, and other manufacturers have announced increases in production to keep up with the unexpected high demand for new vehicles.

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With automotive industry sales off by 32% for the year to date, the “clunkers” program has boosted July sales to only a 12% decrease. The $1 billion fund originally created for the “clunkers” program was depleted in the first week with dealers submitting 245,000 applications to the federal government for approval. Congress added an additional $2 billion last week which caused Ford to increase its production of the fuel-efficient Escape and Focus vehicles. Because of the popularity of these two models Ford has increased its market share and actually showed a sales increase of 2% for the month of July compared to the preceding year. General Motors has also announced that is considering an increase in production for the fourth quarter and has informed its suppliers to expect an increase of fifty thousand or more units.

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Because of the higher demand created by the government’s “cash for clunkers” program Ford announced that it will significantly increase its production in the fourth quarter of this year. Ford plants in Missouri and Michigan will add shifts and increase overtime to produce more of Ford’s Escape sport utility vehicle and the Focus compact. Ford is expected to build 570,000 vehicles in the last quarter, a 33% increase over the last quarter of 2008, and an increase of 15% over planned production figures before the clunkers program started.

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Cars and light truck sales were up for the month of July. The Cash for Clunkers Program is credited with giving auto makers a boost. The White House has guaranteed the program through Friday, but the continuation of the program depends on the Senate vote.

General Motors sold 187,582 vehicles, Toyota sold 174,872 vehicles, Ford sold 158,354 vehicles, Honda 114,690 vehicles, Chrysler 88,900 vehicles, Nissan 71,847 vehicles, Hyundai 45,553 vehicles, Kia 29,345 vehicles, Subaru 21,839 vehicles, and Volkswagen 20,590 vehicles.

The difference from auto sales in July, 2008 are: Subaru up 34.2%, Hyundai up 11.9%, Kia up 4.7%, Ford up 1.6%, Volkswagen up 0.7%, Chrysler down 9.4%, Toyota down 11.4%, Honda down 17.3%, GM down 18.9%, and Nissan down 24.6%.

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Approximately 8.5 million vehicles were assembled in the United States in 2008, but only 5 million of those were made by Big Three auto makers. More than 3 million of the assembled vehicles in U.S. plants were built by autoworkers employed by brands such as BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota. American vehicles assembled in the United States, built by American union workers, and made with engines and transmissions manufactured in the U.S.are the following:

Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Nitro, Jeep Liberty, Ford Expedition, Ford F150, Ford F-250, Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS, Lincoln Navigator, Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Express, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Savana, GMC Yukon XL, Hummer H2, Dodge Caliber (manual transmission only), Dodge Dakota (automatic only), Jeep Compass (manual transmission only), Jeep Patriot (manual transmission only), Jeep Wrangler (automatic transmission only), Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (automatic transmission only).

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