Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Business | By Max Garcia

Mazda, Toyota select Alabama for new U.S. auto manufacturing plant

Mazda, Toyota select Alabama for new U.S. auto manufacturing plant

Production capacity at the new plant will be 300,000 units, and the United States $1.6 billion cost of the facility's construction will be shared evenly by the two companies.

The joint venture represents a $1.6 billion investment that Mazda and Toyota plan to make with equal funding contributions.

The Japanese automakers had been narrowing the list of possible locations for months before choosing the site that's just 14 miles from Toyota's nearby engine plant. The factory is expected to create 4,000 new jobs, which President Donald Trump praised during his November trip to Tokyo. With the nation's most productive manufacturing workforce and No. 1 state workforce training program, Louisiana can make a compelling case for new investment.

Image: (left to right) Secretary Greg Canfield, Masamichi Kogai, Alabama Govornor Kay Ivey, Akio Toyoda, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and Commission Chairman Mark Yarbrough. "It vaults Alabama to the top as an industry leader in producing the next generation of cars that will power our nation". The companies originally announced plans for a US plant in August when the two Japanese automakers signed a joint venture agreement, though the exact location was not known at that time. It produces most of the cars and trucks it sells in the U.S.at those US plants and exports some of those cars to other markets.

"Mazda makes cars with a clear vision of how we want to inspire people, contribute to society and help preserve the beauty of the earth. By making this plant a vibrant part of that community, we hope to work, learn and grow together with the people of Alabama and Huntsville", Kogai said.

But despite the threat of a border tax, Toyota is moving ahead with plans to build trucks at the Mexico plant, even if it will not build Corollas there. In 2017, Alabama was tied for fifth place with Tennessee among U.S. states in auto production, behind Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

Alabama is the fifth largest state in terms of auto production, with more than 1 million cars built there annually.

He suggested Alabama's concentration of existing automotive industry infrastructure likely gave the state a stronger selling point to project leaders.

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