When Toyota-Mazda announced the joint venture and its plans to locate the plant in the US, state officials made a huge push for the project, which is expected to eventually employ 4,000 people and generate a $1.6 billion investment.
The factory will be in Huntsville, Alabama, located 14 miles from Toyota's engine plant there. Officials said the state tax incentives were worth $370 million, but they did not disclose how much the local incentives were worth.
Workers at the plant are expected to build 300,000 vehicles per year and produce the Toyota Corolla compact auto starting in 2021.
With the addition of the new plant, Toyota will have 11 manufacturing plants across the U.S. Mazda now doesn't have a manufacturing presence in the U.S.
Toyota had been under fire for building Corollas in Mexico.
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.
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. "NO WAY!" Trump tweeted. on January 5, 2017.
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.
Lentz said it makes sense to build Corollas because Toyota needs the volume even in a declining auto market.
The company had been making Corollas in the U.S.at a plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi, and always planned to keep making vehicles there. Those suppliers are mostly based in the South.
Alabama's governor made it official on Wednesday: The southern state has won the competition to snag a massive Toyota-Mazda manufacturing plant, beating out North Carolina. Overall it has 36,000 US employees, not including those at dealerships. "Starting from 2021, I'm confident that we run a highly competitive plant, by bringing together the expertise of Toyota and Mazda as well as the excellent Alabama workforce".
Alabama is the fifth largest producer of cars and light trucks nationally and stands at the center of the growing Southeastern automotive region with a strong automotive presence including Toyota's engine plant in Huntsville.
The plant would be Alabama's fourth auto assembly plant, following Mercedes-Benz in Vance, Honda in Lincoln and Hyundai in Montgomery. It also has a relatively low unemployment rate of only 3.5%, the lowest rate in the state's history.
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