Limestone County likely home for $1.6B Toyota-Mazda plant

Reports Toyota Mazda plant to be built in Alabama

Reports Toyota Mazda plant to be built in Alabama

Perhaps as a response to threats by our president that the government would begin to levy tariffs on imported vehicles, Toyota and Mazda are rumored to be building a $1.6 billion factory in Huntsville, Alabama.

The plant will employ about 4,000 people and is expected to be built on the Tennessee Valley Authority Mega Site in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County.

Amid tightening environmental regulations in the US, the likely challenge will be to create new added value, such as locally producing electric cars and replacing production models to better reflect demand.

Toyota has 10 USA plants in eight states in an arc running from West Virginia through Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.Toyota and Mazda announced a capital alliance in August and are exploring joint development of technologies for the basic structure of competitive electric vehicles.

Alabama is the fifth largest state in terms of auto production with more than 1 million cars built there annually.

San Antonio was hoping to attract the plant, which will be built in the Huntsville area and will employ about 4,000 people.

Toyota has 10 existing USA factories, including an existing engine plant in Huntsville which opened in 2001 and employs 1,450 workers. "It vaults Alabama to the top as an industry leader in producing the next generation of cars that will power our nation".

Toyota was one of the earliest foreign manufacturers to bring auto production to the United States, something which it is keen on expanding.

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

After reassessing the market, Toyota Motor Corp. has changed its plan to make Corollas at a plant in Guanajuato, Mexico, now under construction, and instead will produce Tacoma pickups there, the company has said.

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.

"We have been reviewing the best production strategy for our business", he told reporters in Tokyo at the time. The plan calls for rolling out 300,000 passenger cars a year to the U.S. market.

It's hard to predict auto sales in three years, but at present, Toyota may not need the factory for Corolla production. Corolla sales fell 14 per cent for the year, to just under 309,000, according to Autodata Corp.

Mazda has a plant in Mexico, a country that also hosts the manufacturing bases of related parts makers, which facilitates parts supplies to the southern U.S. In addition to the existing Toyota engine plant it has plants for Hyundai, Honda and Mercedes-Benz.

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