By on April 15, 2020

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]

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9 Comments on “Toyota-Mazda Assembly Plant Opening Delayed...”

  • avatar

    Toyota is close with Mazda and Subaru. Someday, they will own them both.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      I wonder if they’ll consider changing the team name. the “Rocket City Trash Pandas” now suddenly seems inappropriate.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      I’ll disagree with you on the ball park. Battle did the right thing by not stepping in that mess. It would have cost as much if not more to fix up joe Davis. And the parkway absolutely could not deal with that traffic. It can’t even deal with daily work traffic. If the team fails let Madison deal with it.

      I live in the county now but we are all paying for 255 widening and I565 even if we don’t need it or use it.

      • 0 avatar

        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.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    $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!”

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