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

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Bevin and other state officials met with Toyota's "top executives" to lobby for the plant in Kentucky, Mazurak said.

In announcing plans for a new plant in August, Toyota said it would shift production of Corollas from Canada to the new venture rather than in Guanajuato and would build Tacoma pickups in Mexico instead.

The factory will be in Huntsville, Alabama, located 14 miles from Toyota's engine plant there.

The plant is expected to start building cars in 2021, and will eventually churn out 300,000 vehicles per year.

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

"Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S".

With the addition of the new plant, Toyota will have 11 manufacturing plants across the U.S. Mazda now doesn't have a manufacturing presence in the U.S.

A year ago, shortly before his inauguration, Trump criticized Toyota and threatened hefty tariffs against the Japanese automaker if it built its Corolla sedan for the US market in Mexico.

When Toyota and Mazda announced their joint venture in August past year, Trump took to Twitter to praise the Japanese automakers for their American-centric decision. "NO WAY! Build plant in USA or pay big border tax", then-President-Elect Trump tweeted early previous year.

Mexican currency, stocks weaken on Canada NAFTA report
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a town hall in Halifax on Monday, January 16, 2017. President Donald Trump will give six months notice to withdraw from the NAFTA trade agreement.

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

But despite the threat of a border tax, Toyota is moving ahead with plans to build trucks at the Mexico plant, even if it will not build Corollas there.

Expected to open in 2021, the plant breaks ground at a time where USA auto sales are on a decline, meaning increased pressure to cut costs could jeopardize the automakers' plans to scale up US production. Those suppliers are mostly based in the South.

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.

But with USA auto industry sales are declining, the new plant could exacerbate overcapacity and add pressure to cut prices. It produces most of the cars and trucks it sells in the U.S.at those USA plants and exports some of those cars to other markets. USA new vehicle sales fell 2 percent in 2017, after hitting a record high in 2016, and are expected to fall further in 2018. Mazda does not now have any US factories.

Over the last 30 years Toyota and other automakers from Germany and other parts of Asia have built a second auto industry in the United States.

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

The plant would be Alabama's fourth auto assembly plant, following Mercedes-Benz in Vance, Honda in Lincoln and Hyundai in Montgomery.

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