Toyota and Mazda to Produce Cars Jointly in Alabama

Toyota and Mazda to Produce Cars Jointly in Alabama

The Huntsville site is near Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, which turned out almost 700,000 engines a year ago, powering one-third of the Toyota vehicles built in the U.S. The plant built its 5 millionth engine in February and in September announced a $106 million investment to install a new 4-cylinder production line to produce advanced engines.

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 was especially exciting to see both new and existing companies make investments and announce projects that will position the state as an important location in the global auto industry for years to come". The facility is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs and production is expected to begin by 2021. The companies originally announced plans for a US plant in August when the two Japanese automakers signed a joint venture agreement, though the exact location was not known at that time. That figure does not include a local incentive package still being finalized.

Leaders at Toyota and Mazda recently selected Huntsville, Alabama, as the site of their new joint-venture manufacturing plant.

Huntsville officials said Thursday that annexation planning going back to 2008, and the relationships they developed with property owners back then, allowed them to move quickly to secure more land for the Toyota Mazda deal.

The decision to pick Alabama is another example of foreign-based automakers building USA factories in the South. North Carolina apparently was a finalist in the running for the huge factory but remains one of the few Southeast states not to land a modern carmaker.

"Mazda makes cars with a clear vision of how we want to inspire people, contribute to society and help preserve the beauty of the earth", said Kogai.

Alabama was tied with Tennessee as the fifth-largest producer of vehicles in the country past year, according to the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Last year, US small cars sales dropped nearly 10% as buyers continued to shift trends towards SUVs and pickup trucks.

Still, Toyota and Mazda have said their collaboration will respect mutual independence and equality. Conveniently enough, Alabama is also home to a Toyota engine plant as well as a large network of suppliers. In 2002, Hyundai announced an assembly facility in Montgomery.

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