Sweet Home Alabama: Toyota And Mazda Building New $1.6 Billion Plant

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President Donald Trump tweeted, "Good news: Toyota and Mazda announce giant new Huntsville, Alabama, plant which will produce over 300,000 cars and SUV's a year and employ 4000 people".

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. Though that final site selection has occurred in Alabama, we believe we've built a strong case for future automotive manufacturing projects to locate in Louisiana. The facility is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs and production is expected to begin by 2021.

"Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S".

The 2,500-acre Huntsville location announced Wednesday is more than twice as big as the 1,100 acres the partners targeted initially, according to Bob Carter, Toyota's sales chief for North America.

Alabama's history as an auto-producing region started in 1998 when Mercedes built a plant there.

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Image: (left to right) Secretary Greg Canfield, Masamichi Kogai, Alabama Govornor Kay Ivey, Akio Toyoda, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and Commission Chairman Mark Yarbrough.

Louisiana proposed a smart incentive offer that would have guaranteed strong return on investment for the state and a beneficial operating environment for the prospect companies.

Still, Toyota and Mazda have said their collaboration will respect mutual independence and equality.

David Rumbarger, president and CEO of the Community Development Foundation in Tupelo, said having the new plant in the Huntsville area could potentially be a boon to Northeast Mississippi with significant opportunities for Alcorn and Tishomingo counties if they have sites ready. With more than 150 Tier 1 and 2 automotive suppliers in the state as well as automakers, there are approximately 57,000 automotive manufacturing jobs in Alabama. He said the company has no additional announcements to make at this time. With the nation's most productive manufacturing workforce and No. 1 state workforce training program, Louisiana can make a compelling case for new investment.