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Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

SA loses out on new Toyota-Mazda factory, AP source says

SA loses out on new Toyota-Mazda factory, AP source says

"We hope to work, learn and grow together with the people of Alabama and Huntsville", said CEO of Mazda Motor Masamichi Kogai.

Toyota Motor and Mazda Motor have chosen the southeastern US state of Alabama as the site for a new joint plant costing in the region of $1.6 billion, sources said Wednesday. That is a strong testament to the quality of the location, resources, people and government leadership that Alabama offers. In September Toyota announced a $106 million technology upgrade for the Huntsville plant.

North Carolina was a finalist fro the 4,000-employee plant, where Toyota plans to assemble the Corolla sedan, while Mazda said it will use the factory to produce new crossover vehicles for the US market.

Among U.S. states, Alabama is already the fifth largest producer of cars and light trucks.

Folsom who helped land Mercedes in Tuscaloosa County believes the Toyota-Mazda deal will add even more growth to Alabama's booming auto manufacturing industry which so far has produced almost 60,000 jobs and millions of vehicles.

"Alabama won a first place trophy today in being selected for that plant", said Dave Sullivan, product analysis manager at AutoPacific Inc., an automotive research company. This exciting investment in North Alabama not only comes with 4,000 new direct jobs, but also an economic impact that will be felt across the state for many years to come.

The plant will produce 300,000 vehicles a year and should open on a 2,500-acre former cotton field in 2021, about 14 miles from Toyota's engine plant in Huntsville. The facility is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs.

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

Alabama spent an estimated $250 million to woo Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz to put an auto plant in Tuscaloosa two decades ago.

An official announcement is expected Wednesday.

WDRB reported in August that Bevin said he had a personal relationship with Toyota Motor Corp.

Trump tweeted in March that he wanted "new plants to be built here for cars sold here".

Lentz said it makes sense to build Corollas because Toyota needs the volume even in a declining vehicle market.

Trump has made it a priority in his presidency to bring industry that had shipped jobs overseas back to the United States as well as building up domestic job opportunities.

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

Over the last 30 years Toyota, along with German and Asian automakers, has built a second auto industry in the United States, rivaling the operations of the Detroit Three automakers in size and employment, but with newer, and fewer unionized, plants. Southern U.S. states have the advantage of good transportation infrastructure, business-friendly regulators and generally anti-union politicians.

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