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Officials react to Alabama Toyota-Mazda plant announcement

Officials react to Alabama Toyota-Mazda plant announcement

Toyota Motor Corp and Mazda Motor Corp announced on Wednesday they will build a $1.6 billion joint assembly plant in Alabama that will employ up to 4,000 workers, a boost for President Donald Trump, who wants automakers to expand USA production.

Several states had competed for the coveted project, which will be able to turn out 300,000 vehicles per year and will produce the Toyota Corolla compact auto for North America and a new small SUV from Mazda.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda and Mazda President and Chief Executive Officer Masamichi Kogai joined Alabama Governor Kay Ivey in Montgomery at an event to announce the decision. The companies said they expect the plant to open in 2021.

The Alabama Department of Commerce shows 150 of the large automotive suppliers operate in the state, providing the logistical strength that Kristin Dziczek, a researcher at the Center for Automotive Research in MI, said helped land the plant. By Wednesday, the makers had obtained the necessary permissions from the state of Alabama.

I am extremely proud that Huntsville was selected by Toyota and Mazda for the joint auto production plant. Officials said the state tax incentives were worth $370 million, but they did not disclose how much the local incentives were worth.

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Details of an anticipated tax and incentive package for the investment were not yet known. The state will also provide workforce training.

Alabama is already home to a Toyota engine plant and offers easy access to a major south-north highway.

The site for the new plant in Huntsville sits just 14 miles from Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama, which produces four-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines for several Toyota models. That is a strong testament to the quality of the location, resources, people and government leadership that Alabama offers. To entice manufacturers, Southern states have used a combination of lucrative incentive packages, low-priced labor and a pro-business labor environment since the United Auto Workers union is stronger in Northern states. "It vaults Alabama to the top as an industry leader in producing the next generation of cars that will power our nation". The state produced nine percent of the cars made in the USA, the center said.

In September, Daimler said it would invest $1 billion to expand its Alabama Mercedes-Benz plant to start building electric sport-utility vehicles there from about 2020. Sullivan said the factory itself is a huge asset for the state, but it will also cause economic ripples by bringing spinoff jobs at suppliers and service companies in the area. Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.6 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2017 - and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.

Toyota and Mazda announced plans for a new plant in August.


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