Officials react to Alabama Toyota-Mazda plant announcement

Employees work on an assembly line of the Toyota Motor Corp's Prius hybrid car at the Tsutsumi plant in Toyota central Japan

Officials react to Alabama Toyota-Mazda plant announcement

For Toyota, this joint-venture plant will be its 11th USA manufacturing facility and represents its further commitment in the US, in addition to the $10 billion in investment over five years beginning in 2017 announced a year ago.

According to a report from Automotive News, the Japanese automakers decided on Huntsville, Alabama as the site of their upcoming facility, after narrowing down their choices between Alabama and North Carolina. Toyota and Mazda, two of the world's most innovative automakers, have created a legacy project that will provide jobs for decades to come for Huntsville and Alabama.

Toyota and Mazda announced plans for a new plant in August.

It's now official - Huntsville, Ala. has been selected by Toyota Motor Corporation and Mazda Motor Corporation as the site of their new $1.6 billion joint-venture auto manufacturing plant.

A Toyota auto plant employee at the automaker's Huntsville engine manufacturing plant.

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While it's not yet known the amount of tax incentives the automakers received for their new production plant, it has been reported that the two companies sought at least $1 billion in incentives, according to Reuters.

For Mazda, the plant comes on line in a significant year that marks the start of the company's second century of operation and second half-century of sales in the U.S. The automaker is enhancing its commitment to the U.S. market and will focus efforts on manufacturing and increasing sales in the country. Mazda builds its CX-3 and for Toyota, the subcompact Yaris iA sedan, at its Salamanca, Guanajuato plant in Mexico. Mazda plans to build new crossover SUVs at the plant. "NO WAY! Build plant in US or pay big border tax", then-President-Elect Trump tweeted early a year ago. "A great investment in American manufacturing!"

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.

Huntsville marks the 11th USA factory for Toyota, and the first for Mazda since it pulled out of a joint-venture plant still operated by Ford Motor Company in Flat Rock, Michigan.

The two firms past year formed a capital alliance and announced a plan to build the factory for 1.6 billion dollars in the United States by 2021. Southern U.S. states have the advantage of good transportation infrastructure, business-friendly regulators and generally anti-union politicians.

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

Ivey said, "This is indeed a great day in Alabama".

"The impact of an auto assembly plant extends beyond its immediate economic impact, and that's why states offer robust incentives", said Dennis Cuneo, a site-selection consultant and former Toyota executive.

The new plant marks a significant milestone for Mazda, making it the zoom-zoom automaker's first USA production plant.

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