Toyota, Mazda plan to build factory in Alabama

Workers complete a truck's engine on the assembly line at the Toyota Motor Corp. manufacturing facility in San Antonio Texas

Japanese carmakers Toyota and Mazda announced their plan to build a new $1.6-billion (€1.34-billion) plant in the southern U.S. state of Alabama. According to Bloomberg, Toyota spokesman Curt McAllister said the automaker has no announcement to make at this time. She notes once up and running, some 4,000 jobs are expected to be created at the plant with an average annual salary of $50,000.

With Toyota already having a number of manufacturing facilities stateside, this gives Mazda a solid foundation in a time when importing vehicles produced outside of the US could become more expensive due to proposed border tariffs.

According to the centre, Alabama produced 9 per cent of the cars made in the country. "Congratulations Alabama!" he wrote.

Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai says he expects Mazda's first US plant to "enhance (our) sales" in the States, noting the two automakers will "use the extent of our combined technology capabilities" to achieve world-class efficiency and quality levels at the site.

"We are committed to becoming a "best-in-town company" in the city of Huntsville and the state of Alabama, a new hometown for Toyota and Mazda".

"There is a lot of training that goes into these", says Nancy Wilson, Assistant Dean of Career Tech at Lawson State Community College. USA new vehicle sales fell 2 percent in 2017, after hitting a record high in 2016, and are expected to fall further in 2018.

Then those parts are sent out to assembly lines, which is what the new Toyota and Mazda plant will be.

Among U.S. states, Alabama already is the fifth largest producer of cars and light trucks.

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Employment in the automotive sector in Alabama now tops 57,000, with 25,000 jobs in the automotive supplier chains among more than 160 companies.

Kentucky has lost out on a $1.6 billion automobile plant which would have brought thousands of jobs to the region.

Ever since Mercedes-Benz chose Alabama over North Carolina for an SUV factory 25 years ago, the state has been haunted by questions of whether it's serious enough about laying out big incentive packages. A Kia Motors Corp assembly plant operates near the Alabama border in Georgia.

Still, Toyota and Mazda have said their collaboration will respect mutual independence and equality. Jointly-developed electric vehicles for the global market are also in the pipeline.

When Volkswagen made a decision to add 2,000 jobs at its plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 2015, a University of Tennessee study found the expansion created 9,800 other jobs in the region. Many automakers have announced expansions of facilities or new jobs but no other new US auto plants have been announced.

The Japanese automakers have chosen Alabama as the site of their new $1.6 billion joint-venture factory, a source familiar with the decision told the Associated Press.

It will be Toyota's 11th assembly plant in the US - its biggest market - and the first since 2011. It will be Toyota's eighth such facility in North America and the second for Mazda.

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