After their announced manufacturing partnership in the U.S. last August, Toyota Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. decided on the site of their $1.6 billion joint production plant.
According to a report from Automotive News, the Japanese automakers decided on Huntsville, Alabama as the site of their upcoming facility, after narrowing down their choices between Alabama and North Carolina.
Located close to Toyota’s current engine plant in Huntsville, along with the Japanese automaker’s extensive network of auto suppliers nearby, the new production plant will employ 4,000 people and roll 300,000 vehicles off the assembly line per year.
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 U.S., threatening crippling tariffs on automakers that didn’t build new facilities in the states.
“Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax,” then-President-Elect Trump tweeted early last year.
Expected to open in 2021, the plant breaks ground at a time where U.S. auto sales are on a decline, meaning increased pressure to cut costs could jeopardize the automakers’ plans to scale up U.S. production.
The new plant will be home to Mazda’s new crossover SUVs and Toyota’s Corolla compact sedans, which were originally going to be built in Mexico, drawing the ire of Trump.
When Toyota and Mazda announced their joint venture in August last year, Trump took to Twitter to praise the Japanese automakers for their American-centric decision.
“Toyota & Mazda to build a new $1.6B plant here in the U.S.A. and create 4K new American jobs. A great investment in American manufacturing!” Pres. Trump said via Twitter.
Toyota currently operates 10 plants in eight states including West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.
The new plant marks a significant milestone for Mazda, making it the zoom-zoom automaker’s first U.S. production plant.
Last year, Toyota acquired a 5-percent stake in Mazda and Mazda acquired a 0.5-percent stake in Toyota to jointly develop competitive electric vehicles.
While it’s not yet known the amount of tax incentives the automakers received for their new production plant, it has been reported that the two companies sought at least $1 billion in incentives, according to Reuters.
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