Mazda plant caps Alabama auto sector's successful year

Toyota and Mazda have picked Alabama as the site of a new $1.6 billion joint-venture auto manufacturing plant a person briefed on the decision said Tuesday Jan. 9 2018

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Mazda will produce crossovers alongside Toyota Corolla compact cars at the joint facility.

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.

Multiple media outlets in North Carolina are reporting that the state offered $1.5 billion in incentives to attract the Toyota-Mazda plant.

The new plant will be located in Huntsville about 14 miles from Toyota's plant. The facility is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs and production is expected to begin by 2021.

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The joint-venture plant will be Toyota's 11th USA manufacturing facility. "We are proud that this partnership puts Alabama on the forefront of technology in this dynamic global industry". Neither automaker has made anything official, but it's expected to build Corollas specifically for the USA as well as an upcoming Mazda crossover, also for the US.

The automaker is improving its commitment to the United States market and will focus efforts on manufacturing and increasing sales in the country.

Image: (left to right) Secretary Greg Canfield, Masamichi Kogai, Alabama Govornor Kay Ivey, Akio Toyoda, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and Commission Chairman Mark Yarbrough. 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 produces most of the cars and trucks it sells in the those USA plants and exports some of those cars to other markets. "Starting from 2021, I'm confident that we will run a highly competitive plant, by bringing together the expertise of Toyota and Mazda as well as the excellent Alabama workforce". At an estimated $500.5 million in total value, we believe the package is comparable to the state offer in Alabama, where officials apparently have not included the value of their local property tax exemptions or the value of 1,200 acres of donated land for the site, which all would be in addition to their reported $380 million state offer.

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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