Toyota, Mazda to build $1.6 billion plant in Alabama

Mercedes produced its 3 millionth Alabama-made vehicle today at its Tuscaloosa County plant

Toyota and Mazda made waves yesterday with the announcement that they have settled on Huntsville, Alabama for the site of their new joint assembly plant.

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.

The new Huntsville plant will be just 14 miles (22 kilometers) from Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama, which produces four-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines for several Toyota models.

For Toyota, this joint-venture plant will be its 11th US manufacturing facility and represents its continued commitment in the USA, in addition to the $10 billion dollar investment over the next 5 years that was announced in January 2017. With more than 150 Tier 1 and 2 automotive suppliers in the state as well as automakers, there are approximately 57,000 automotive manufacturing jobs in Alabama. It will be capable of building 300,000 vehicles per year. "Build plant in USA or pay big border tax".

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

The two companies will invest $1.6 billion in the state when it builds the auto manufacturing facility near Huntsville in the next two years.

The figure is significant not only because it's substantially higher than the reported amount of incentives from Alabama, but that the cost of the plant to the companies is an estimated $1.6 billion.

He noted Toyota already operates an engine production facility in Huntsville, Alabama, dating back to the early 2000s, which he surmised was a strong selling point to project leaders.

And there are other new names, too.

"One of the overriding things that we were continually bumping up against was the Toyota supply chain", Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland said.

"Our workforce, well trained and committed to producing high-quality vehicles and parts, is the reason these companies are deepening their roots here, bringing even more new jobs and opportunity for communities across the state".

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