New Toyota-Mazda factory to be built in Alabama

New Toyota-Mazda factory to be built in Alabama

Several states had competed for the coveted project, which will be able to turn out 300,000 vehicles per year and will produce the Toyota Corolla compact auto for North America and a new small SUV from Mazda.

Toyota and Mazda are forming a capital alliance and splitting the cost for the plant equally.

The plant will produce 300,000 vehicles a year and should open on a 2,500-acre former cotton field in 2021, about 14 miles from Toyota's engine plant in Huntsville.

The new Alabama facility is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs.

The Alabama Department of Commerce shows 150 of the large automotive suppliers operate in the state, providing the logistical strength that Kristin Dziczek, a researcher at the Center for Automotive Research in MI, said helped land the plant. Their decision to locate this new facility in Huntsville is a testament to the talented workforce in our state.

"With this announcement, our world changes overnight", said Tommy Battle, mayor of Huntsville. Toyota and Mazda, two of the world's most innovative automakers, have created a legacy project that will provide jobs for decades to come for Huntsville and Alabama.

Alabama was tied with Tennessee as the fifth-largest producer of vehicles in the country a year ago, according to the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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While other automakers like Honda Motor have plants in Alabama, for Toyota, the state is a complete "blank area", said a company official. The plan calls for rolling out 300,000 passenger cars a year to the United States market.

The person didn't want to be identified because the decision hasn't been made public. By making such cars here in Alabama, we hope that over time our plant will come to occupy a special place in the hearts of our employees and the local community.

For Toyota, this joint-venture plant will be its 11th USA manufacturing facility and represents its continued commitment in the US, in addition to the $10 billion dollar investment over the next 5 years that was announced in January 2017. By Wednesday, the makers had obtained the necessary permissions from the state of Alabama.

Those companies employ thousands of people and not all of those suppliers are near where the plants are which helps spread more economic development throughout the state.

US states covet auto assembly plants because they typically pay above-average wages and spin off jobs at suppliers and service companies.

Dziczek said that Alabama in 2017 was tied for fifth among USA states in auto production, at 9 percent with Tennessee. US new vehicle sales fell 2 percent in 2017, after hitting a record high in 2016, and are expected to fall further in 2018.

Over the last 30 years Toyota and other automakers from Germany and other parts of Asia have built a second auto industry in the United States.

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