Toyota and Mazda Choose Alabama for $1.6 Billion Car Plant

Posted January 10, 2018 4:40 p.m. EST
Updated January 10, 2018 4:42 p.m. EST

Toyota Motor and Mazda Motor announced on Wednesday that they have chosen Huntsville, Alabama, for a $1.6 billion car plant.

The two Japanese companies said they expected the plant to open in 2021 and have the capacity to make up to 300,000 cars a year. It will employ about 4,000 people directly and is expected to create thousands of related jobs.

“This is indeed a great day in Alabama,” Gov. Kay Ivey said at a news conference in Montgomery.

The new plant will be Toyota’s fifth in the United States, joining assembly factories in Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi and Texas. The company also has an engine plant in Huntsville that will be expanded to supply the new factory.

Toyota’s chief executive, Akio Toyoda, said he was confident the plant would be a “built-in-America success story.”

Huntsville is home to a number of aerospace manufacturers and has a highly educated workforce. “We can’t wait to see ‘Made in Alabama’ in those vehicles rolling down the assembly line,” said Greg Canfield, Alabama’s secretary of commerce. “I have no doubt the Toyota-Mazda manufacturing facility will take Huntsville to new heights.”

The new Alabama plant is part of an initiative by Toyota to invest $10 billion in the United States over the next five years.

When the companies announced in August that they would cooperate on a new plant in the United States, the news was hailed by President Donald Trump, who has called on auto manufacturers to produce more vehicles here in hopes of creating jobs. The president also criticized Ford Motor, General Motors and other automakers for building or expanding factories in Mexico.

At the time, Toyota announced that it was taking a 5 percent stake in Mazda.

In addition to its United States plants, Toyota also has two assembly plants in Ontario and a small truck plant in Mexico. Mazda has a single North American plant in Salamanca, Mexico.

Toyota and Mazda are moving forward with the plant at a time when new-vehicle sales in the United States have started to decline. Total sales fell 1.8 percent in 2017, to 17.2 million, ending a seven-year run of growth. Analysts forecast further declines in 2018 and 2019.