New Toyota-Mazda factory to be built in Alabama

TO GO WITH Japan-auto-environment-compan

Alabama is presently tied with Tennessee for fifth in the United States in annual auto production, according to the Center for Automotive Research, but could move up to fourth following with the addition of the Toyota-Mazda plant. The new facility will be built about 11 miles from Toyota's Alabama engine plant. Their decision to locate this new facility in Huntsville is a testament to the talented workforce in our state.

Toyota and Mazda Motor Corp. also plan to work together on various advanced auto technology, such as electric vehicles, safety features and connected cars, as well as products that they could supply each other, they said. President Akio Toyoda joined Governor Ivey for the announcement.

Expected to open in 2021, the plant breaks ground at a time where USA auto sales are on a decline, meaning increased pressure to cut costs could jeopardize the automakers' plans to scale up US production.

The person didn't want to be identified because the decision hasn't been made public. 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.

When Toyota and Mazda announced their joint venture in August a year ago, Trump took to Twitter to praise the Japanese automakers for their American-centric decision. "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", Kogai said.

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Following Pres. Donald Trump's tariff-tough talk in 2016, Toyota was grilled by the then-President-Elect via Twitter about moving manufacturing jobs outside the USA, threatening crippling tariffs on automakers that didn't build new facilities in the states. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and company executives held a joint news conference to announce that the facility is coming to the Huntsville area not far from the Tennessee line.

"With this announcement, our world changes overnight", Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said. "It vaults Alabama to the top as an industry leader in producing the next generation of cars that will power our nation".

Matt Bevin reportedly said that he would fight to bring a new $1.6 billion automaker plant to Kentucky, but now the joint venture between Toyota and Mazda is expected to go to Alabama. 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.

Toyota has 10 existing USA factories, including an engine plant in Huntsville and two other facilities nearby in Mississippi.

"We expect the new facility in Huntsville to act as a magnet for substantial new industry investment and job-creation that lifts communities and families across the state", he added.

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