Toyota-Mazda Assembly Plant Opening Delayed

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
toyota mazda assembly plant opening delayed

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing will have to wait a while before it manufactures any automobiles. The jointly operated facility in Huntsville, Alabama won’t open next spring as planned. It’s delayed on account of the coronavirus outbreak.

Designed to produce collaborative crossovers, the facility came to be after state and local governments floated $800 million in incentives to temp the automakers. Apparently good enough, the $1.6-billion project launched under the assumption that the first of two production lines would be operational by April of 2021. That date has been pushed back indefinitely as Toyota and Mazda assess the situation.

“On April 9, we informed state and local government officials in Alabama, along with our key suppliers how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our ability to maintain critical equipment delivery schedules, creating labor shortages, and slowing construction. As a result, we will delay the start of production of the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant to a time period later in 2021. We are eager to keep the project moving forward and appreciate the ongoing support of all key stakeholders,” Toni Eberhart, spokesperson for the project, explained.

“As a result, we will delay the start of production of the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant to a time period later in 2021. We are eager to keep the project moving forward and appreciate the ongoing support of all key stakeholders.”

The facility is expected to provide jobs for 4,000 Alabamians, with nearby suppliers delivering an additional 1,500 (or more) positions for the area. Unfortunately, the pandemic is likely to delay their completion, as well. Local outlets reported the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A. (MTMUS) campus will probably stall construction on supportive facilities using the site.

On the upshot, COVID-19 has lessened traffic immensely and Limestone County plans to widen I-565. The highway had already earned a reputation for its frequent traffic jams. In order to better facilitate commerce stemming from MTMUS and keep locals moving on their daily commutes, the state rejiggered the formerly contentious program to ensure it came in under budget. With nobody going anywhere, now seems like the ideal time to engage in some roadwork.

[Image: Toyota]

Join the conversation
7 of 9 comments
  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Apr 15, 2020

    I think they spent more than that as there were improvements done at the Port of Mobile and the connecting infrastructure to facilitate movement of the product. Fortunately I suppose I am in the city limits of Huntsville in Madison County, so I guess I am only on the hook for the state level improvements and the new AA ballpark. Can't have all of those folks in Madison driving over to the East side to the perfectly good ballpark that was already there and could have been renovated. They might see a poor person.

    • See 4 previous
    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Apr 16, 2020

      @Daniel J Wasn't Joe Davis Stadium one of the largest in AA? I think it was well over 10,000 capacity (I could look it up, but I'm lazy). the new ballpark has a capacity of 7,000, considerably smaller, but it's a more modern design with amenities not found in decades-old ballparks like JDS. The new ballpark cost something like $48 million, so if JDS is structurally sound, removing seating and adding amenities might have been cheaper. Having 7k seats instead of 10k-plus would have made less impact on traffic too. The key is the condition of JDS, which is pretty old for a minor league ballpark, with a layout that might not have been cheaply altered. Key point: this is America, where it's out with the old and in with the new, even if the old is still usable. We've lost a lot of fine buildings to that attitude.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Apr 16, 2020

    $0.8 billion tax relief for the Toyota/Mazda venture: OK $1.0 billion tax relief offered to Tesla by Joplin, MO: "a gift for building rich-guy trucks!"

  • Lou_BC Cool car but 35k USD?
  • Lou_BC I've owned and ridden many litre class sport bikes. Those bikes render anything on 4 wheels boring. This is cool but even if I had the cash, it would be a hard pass.
  • Jeff S Some of us don't care either way we are not into this type of car. Most of these will be stored in garages waiting for their value to go up. As someone above noted this is an old body style which is retro 70s Challenger which after researching it came out in the 2008 MY which means a long run for a model that is in its 16th year. I have always liked these but if I bought one I would not spend this kind of money on one probably get the V-6 version and use it as a family car but then I am not into drag racing or muscle cars. For the type of car it is it has a decent rear seat and not too bad of a trunk. Most of us are not going to spend 100k for any vehicle at least currently so its not something most of us will buy and stick in a garage waiting for its value to increase. I am glad that these editions came out for those who can afford them and it keeps a little more color into what has become a very dull vehicle market but then with age I pick the dull appliance like reliable vehicle because that's what I need. Impressive car but not for me.
  • Jonathan The Germans. So organized they can appear disorganized. I agree with some others, classic names like Thunderbird, Imperial, Grand Prix, Ambassador etc. just have more appeal.
  • Bobbysirhan A friend had one when they first came out. He was CFO of some green California company and could charge the Volt at work. At home, the PHEV gave him an excuse to make his wife park her nicer car outdoors while the Volt get their condo's one-car garage. He liked the Volt, and he spent very little on energy during the 'first one's free!' era of EV ownership. Of course, the green company went bust soon after, and he wound up with a job that involved far more driving and ultimately the need for a more substantial car. I drove the Volt once after his wife had made a return trip to Los Angeles, depleting the battery. I don't know what a first gen Volt drives like with a charged battery, but it was really gutless with two adults, a yellow lab, and a dead battery. My other memory of it was that it had a really cramped back seat for a car that was about as large as a Civic. My friend who bought it liked it though, and that's not always been the case for GM vehicles.