Toyota, Mazda plan $1.6 billion plant in Alabama
by Leigh Jones
Posted 1/10/18, 11:57 am
Automakers Toyota and Mazda have chosen Huntsville, Ala., for a new $1.6 billion plant that eventually will bring about 4,000 jobs to the area. Alabama officials haven’t confirmed the deal, but Gov. Kay Ivey will make a major economic development announcement Wednesday. Alabama beat out North Carolina in the bid to woo the factory, which could begin operations as soon as 2021. The plant will produce Toyota Corollas and a new small SUV for Mazda, eventually churning out 300,000 vehicles per year. Huntsville already has a Toyota engine plant that employs about 1,500 people. President Donald Trump previously criticized Toyota for moving plants to Mexico, but company president Akio Toyoda denied pressure from the White House played into the decision on the new plant’s location. Southern states have become increasingly popular with automakers because of lower wages and the much weaker influence of the United Auto Workers union, which some analysts blame for driving the auto industry out of its traditional home in the North.
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Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.