Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Toyota, Mazda to build $1.6 billion plant in Alabama

Toyota, Mazda to build $1.6 billion plant in Alabama

Toyota had originally planned to build a new Corolla plant in Mexico, but after the joint venture plans were announced in August, Toyota changed course and made a decision to build the Tacoma pickup at the plant in Mexico and the new Corolla at the new USA plant. President and CEO Masamichi Kogai, and Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield (right) gathered in Huntsville, Alabama, Wednesday to announce the site of a $1.6 billion joint-venture auto plant that will employ up to 4,000 people and start production in 2021. "We are committed to being another "best-in town" company in the city of Huntsville and the state of Alabama, a new hometown for Toyota and Mazda".

The shared factory set to open in 2021 is the only new auto assembly plant to be announced under Trump, who has pressured Toyota and other carmakers to make more of their vehicles in the U.S. It will be Toyota's 11th assembly plant in the U.S. - its biggest market - and Mazda's first.

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The prized $1.6 billion vehicle factory awarded to Alabama by Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. could be an even bigger win than expected, as the site's size leaves plenty of room for future expansions.

This will be Mazda's only manufacturing presence in North America. With their experience already in building the Corolla, they have a legitimate shot in being suppliers for the Toyota-Mazda plant, as well. Last year, another Talladega County product, the Honda Ridgeline pickup, won Truck of the Year honors. And since the start of vehicle production in Alabama in 2001, Honda has built almost 4.5 million vehicles and engines.

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"The partnership between Mazda and Toyota will expand innovative automotive manufacturing in Alabama", said Gov. Kay Ivey.

Toyota Mississippi's landmark 2017, during which the plant built its 1 millionth Corolla, hopefully goes a long way in showing Northeast Mississippi's commitment as an automotive corridor.

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Louisiana proposed a smart incentive offer that would have guaranteed strong return on investment for the state and a beneficial operating environment for the prospect companies. "The Toyota-Mazda announcement really puts an exclamation point on this". With the nation's most productive manufacturing workforce and No. 1 state workforce training program, Louisiana can make a compelling case for new investment.

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