Toyota and Mazda to Produce Cars Jointly in Alabama

Toyota Motor Corp. president speaks during a press conference Wednesday Jan. 10 2018 in Montgomery Ala. where the Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda announced plans to build a huge $1.6 billion joint-venture plant in Huntsvil

Toyota and Mazda to Produce Cars Jointly in Alabama

The new plant is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs, with production scheduled to begin by 2021.

The prized $1.6 billion vehicle factory awarded to Alabama by Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. could be an even bigger win than expected, as the site's size leaves plenty of room for future expansions.

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

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.

Toyota and Mazda have selected the U.S. state of Alabama for new auto manufacturing facility.

Toyota and Mazda are to build a new manufacturing plant in Alabama, U.S., with a capacity to produce 300,000 vehicles annually.

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Most of Toyota's US plants are in the South, and all are non-union. The state's factories are also not unionized - a factor that seems to appeal to foreign automakers. The Korean automaker opened a plant near Montgomery in 2002 that makes the Elantra compact auto, Sonata mid-sized sedan, the Santa Fe crossover, and 4-cylinder engines. The state produced 9 percent of the cars made in the USA, the center said.

Project New World, the code name given to the plant, has been the topic of much conversation among economic developers across the region as several states hoped to receive the $1.6 billion plant.

USA sales of small cars fell almost 10 percent past year as buyers continued a massive shift toward SUVs and pickup trucks. With their experience already in building the Corolla, they have a legitimate shot in being suppliers for the Toyota-Mazda plant, as well.

Still, Toyota and Mazda have said their collaboration will respect mutual independence and equality. Working together on green and other auto technology also makes sense as the segment becomes increasingly competitive because of concerns about global warming, the environment and safety. The final location in the mostly non-unionized South also came with tax credits, abatements and training worth $370 million, according to Jerry Underwood, a spokesman for the Alabama Department of Commerce.

Toyota Mississippi's landmark 2017, during which the plant built its 1 millionth Corolla, hopefully goes a long way in showing Northeast Mississippi's commitment as an automotive corridor. In 2002, Hyundai announced an assembly facility in Montgomery.

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