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Toyota, Mazda to build new $1.6 bil. plant in Alabama

NEW YORK — Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. said Wednesday they will build a new $1.6 billion car plant in Huntsville, Alabama with an eye on starting operations in 2021 and creating up to 4,000 jobs.

 

The new factory will have the capacity to produce 300,000 vehicles per year, with Toyota planning to manufacture Corolla cars and Mazda aiming to launch a new crossover model for the North American market.

 

It will be the fifth U.S. factory for Toyota, which already has an engine plant in the southern U.S. state with car component manufacturers operating in the vicinity.

 

Mazda will return to U.S. manufacturing operations for the first time since around 2012, when it pulled out from the country. It currently has a manufacturing plant in Mexico.

 

“Starting from 2021, I’m confident that we will run a highly competitive plant, by bringing together the expertise of Toyota and Mazda,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in a joint statement with Mazda President Masamichi Kogai.

 

For his part, Kogai said his company “makes cars with a clear vision of how we want to inspire people, contribute to society and help preserve the beauty of the earth.”

 

In August, the two carmakers announced they will form a capital tie-up to step up cooperation in areas including electric vehicle development, while also unveiling a plan to invest some $1.6 billion to build a new U.S. plant.

 

Toyota said in January last year that it will invest $10 billion in the United States over the next five years after then-U.S. President-elect Donald Trump criticized the automaker’s plan to build a plant in Mexico.

 

In April, Toyota said it will make an investment of $1.33 billion to retool its main U.S. plant in Kentucky, as part of the promised investment.

 

Alabama is the fifth largest producer of cars and trucks in the United States. With more than 150 automotive suppliers as well as carmakers, there are approximately 57,000 auto manufacturing jobs in the state.

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