Toyota says it will begin producing a new model of its popular gasoline-electric hybrid cars in the United States.


At a news conference in the United States Tuesday, officials of the Japanese automaker said they plan to make 48,000 hybrid-powered Camry models in the southern state of Kentucky next year.


Hybrids get much better gas mileage than conventional cars, and sales in the United States have been boosted recently by soaring fuel prices. The news from Toyota comes after rival carmaker GM closed a plant in Baltimore last Friday.


That facility made minivans that have been selling slowly. Eleven-hundred GM workers lost their jobs as GM strives to streamline the company to deal with strong foreign competition.  


Some information for this report provided by AP and AP.