• The Associated Press


Toyota may restart its delayed Mississippi plant, according to sources, as the automobile market gradually recovers.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Blue Springs plant was initially planned to be completed by 2010, but the plans, first announced in 2007, were put off when the U.S. economy nose-dived in late 2008.

A Toyota spokeswoman said Thursday the decision will be announced when it becomes official.

The Mississippi plant is half-finished, but work on getting it up and running will begin, and production will start by the latter half of next year, under the new plan, pending directors’ approval.

In a related move, Toyota said it will resume its plan to construct a second automobile factory in Brazil after the project was frozen due to the financial crisis.

Toyota, the world’s top automaker, had been on a fevered expansion track until sales tanked from the financial crisis and a series of nasty quality problems.

The latest plan signals that Toyota is again ready to tackle a growth strategy, after managing to return to the black for the fiscal year that ended March 31. The automaker racked up the worst loss in its history the previous fiscal year.

Toyota has been plagued by a massive quality crisis, resulting in the recall of 9 million vehicles around the world since October, mainly in the U.S., for problems such as gas pedal defects and braking software glitches.

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