Joint Toyota-Mazda Assembly Plant Headed to Alabama: Report

joint toyota mazda assembly plant headed to alabama report

It looks like Alabama has won out over North Carolina in the battle to secure a massive, $1.6 billion joint assembly plant. The factory, a partnership between Toyota and Mazda (which, as of last summer, Toyota owns a 5 percent stake in), is reportedly headed to Huntsville, Alabama, and should give the smaller automaker the American capacity it needs to boost crossover sales.

Sources tell Reuters that company officials and government representatives will make an announcement today at the future factory site. Not only does the new plant herald lots of new jobs, it also means a new model.

The Alabama site makes sense for both automakers, as Toyota already has an engine plant in the area, and the Deep South locale keeps both companies relatively safe from UAW organization. A union attempt to break into the Southern auto workforce at Nissan’s Mississippi plant last year met with defeat.

The plant, said to be located at the Huntsville Mega Site, would bring 4,000 jobs to the region, with output reaching some 300,000 vehicles per year. It’s capacity both companies need. Toyota plans to shift Corolla production from Ontario to Alabama, rather than overburden its planned (but pared back) Guanajuato, Mexico plant. The automaker’s south-of-the-border facilities will instead crank out extra Tacomas — a vehicle Americans can’t seem to get enough of.

For Mazda, the automaker’s first U.S. plant means a wholly new model targeted specifically at American buyers. Sales haven’t reached a target laid out by CEO Masamichi Kogai in 2013, and production constraints, coupled with a limited crossover lineup, plays a large role in that. (U.S. Mazda sales reached a high point in 2015, falling each year since.) Last year, Kogai said the new plant would build a new crossover, with introduction set for 2021.

We don’t know much about Mazda’s new mystery vehicle, only that it’s tailored for U.S. buyers and will supposedly to fit into the brand’s lineup without cannibalizing sales of the CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9. The automaker certainly expects to sell a lot of them. Once up and running, Mazda plans to devote all of its 150,000-vehicle capacity at the plant to this new crossover — at least at first.

[Image: Mazda]

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  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Jan 10, 2018

    I’d say that the state of Alabama is off to a rousing start in 2018! First a national championship, now this!

    • JimC2 JimC2 on Jan 10, 2018

      Don't forget a special election (tee tee!!)

  • Mzr Mzr on Jan 10, 2018

    Don't do this Mazda. Toyota is a vampire, look at what happened to Subaru when they partnered with Toyota. Boring, boring, boring.

  • 2ACL What tickles me is that the Bronco looks the business with virtually none of the black plastic cladding many less capable crossovers use.
  • IBx1 For all this time with the hellcat engine, everything they made was pathetic automatic scum save for the Challenger. A manual Durango, Grand Cherokee, Charger, 300C, et al would have been the real last gasp for driving enthusiasts. As it is, the party is long over.
  • MaintenanceCosts The sweet spot of this generation isn't made anymore: the SRT 392. The Scat Pack is more or less filling the same space but it lacks a lot of the goodies, including SRT suspension, brakes, and seats. The Hellcat is too much and isn't available with a manual anymore.
  • Arthur Dailey I am normally a fan of Exner's designs but by this time the front end on the Stutz like most of the rest of the vehicle is a laughable monstrosity of gauche. The interior finishes suit the rest of the vehicle. Corey please put this series out of its misery. This is one vehicle manufacturer best left on the scrap heap of history.
  • Art Vandelay I always thought what my Challenger really needed was a convertible top to make it heavier and make visability worse.
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