Toyota, Mazda to Open Shared Plant in Alabama

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A person briefed on the decision says Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda have picked Alabama as the site of a new $1.6 billion joint-venture manufacturing plant.

"Toyota and Mazda are not going to find a better site than ours", Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said in August.

The plant, which will employ up to 4,000 people and produce about 300,000 vehicles a year, will be located in Huntsville, Alabama, and is a boon for the state, where Toyota has a large engine plant and an existing network of automotive suppliers. Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury models, already provides hybrid technology to Mazda, which makes compact cars for Toyota at its Mexico plant.

A Toyota auto plant employee at the automaker's Huntsville engine manufacturing plant.


Representatives from Toyota and Mazda, as well as the state of Alabama, are expected to formally announce the venture later today.

Toyota and Mazda in August announced plans for a new US factory, which will be able to build 300,000 vehicles per year and produce the Toyota Corolla compact auto starting in 2021. "We are proud that this partnership puts Alabama on the forefront of technology in this dynamic global industry".

Mazda Motor Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Masamichi Kogai and Toyota Motor Corp.

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"With this announcement, our world changes overnight", Battle said.

To lure the plant, the state offered an incentive package of $370 million in tax abatements and investment rebates, Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said. "It vaults Alabama to the top as an industry leader in producing the next generation of cars that will power our nation".

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.

For Mazda, the plant comes on line in a significant year that marks the start of the company's second century of operation and second half-century of sales in the U.S. The automaker is enhancing its commitment to the U.S. market and will focus efforts on manufacturing and increasing sales in the country.

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

But Alabama had history and a parts supply chain on its side.

States covet auto assembly plants because they typically pay above-average wages and spin off jobs at suppliers and service companies.