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Report: Mazda, Toyota choose Alabama for joint $1.6 billion auto factory

By in Press Enterprise on January 10, 2018

By Bloomberg

Alabama edged out North Carolina as the winner in a multi-state contest for a prized Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. joint car factory worth $1.6 billion, a person familiar with the negotiations said.

The Japanese automakers have been narrowing the list of possible locations for months. Mazda, with its U.S. hub in Irvine, and Toyota plan to announce their final choice Wednesday in the Alabama capital of Montgomery, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the news hasn’t been publicly disclosed.

The shared factory Toyota and Mazda plan to open in 2021 is the only new auto assembly plant to be announced under President Donald Trump, who has pressured Toyota and other carmakers to make more of their vehicles in the U.S. During his November visit to Tokyo, Trump thanked executives from the two companies for their U.S. expansion plans.

It will be Toyota’s 11th assembly plant in the U.S. — its biggest market — and the first since 2011. The automaker already has an engine factory in Huntsville, Alabama, and announced a $106 million upgrade to the facility in September.

The new factory will help the companies hedge currency risks — and also may keep them out of the White House’s crosshairs. To make way for the new plant, Toyota in October cut its planned investment in a facility in Guanajuato, Mexico, by 30 percent to $700 million. Trump had threatened Toyota in a tweet a year ago while president-elect to build Corolla cars in the U.S. instead of Mexico or face a “big border tax.”

Hot prize

Toyota spokesman Curt McAllister said the automaker has no announcement to make at this time. Mazda spokesman Jeremy Barnes declined to comment. Jerry Underwood, a spokesman for the Alabama Department of Commerce, also declined to comment.

The plant is such a highly sought-after […]    

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