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Following National Site Search Toyota, Mazda Pick Alabama for $1.6 Billion Assembly Plant

4,000-Worker Assembly Plant Expected to Open in 2021
January 10, 2018
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey joins Toyota and Mazda executives and local officials on Wednesday to announce the state's selection for the automakers' joint assembly plant in Huntsville. Credit: Alabama Governor's Office

In addition to its state university winning the national championship in football, Alabama received even more good news this week when Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. announced they will build a joint assembly plant in Huntsville, AL.

The site selection follows a national search by the automakers and raises Alabama's profile in the auto industry as the state is already the fifth-largest producer of cars and light trucks in the U.S.

The Japanese automakers announced a national site search for the plant in August, immediately drawing interest from nearly a dozen states. The Heart of Dixie prevailed Wednesday in the search that eventually grew to over 20 states competing for the $1.6 billion plant where the joint venture will have the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles annually and employ 4,000 workers when fully operational.

When the plant opens in 2021, production will be split evenly between two assembly lines for each company to produce the Toyota Corolla and Mazda’s crossover SUV model, which will be newly introduced to the North American market.

State officials disclosed they sweetened the deal with state tax incentives worth an estimated $370 million, along with an undisclosed amount of local incentives.

JLL (NYSE: JLL) handled the national search, led by Meredith O’Connor, international director and co-chairman of the brokerage's headquarter practice group; along with international director Kris Bjorson and senior managing director Trevor Ragsdale.

Mazda and Toyota plan to equally fund development of the plant, located 14 miles from Toyota's 1,400-employee plant, which produces four-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines for several Toyota models.

The joint-venture plant will be Toyota's 11th U.S. manufacturing facility, in addition to a $10 billion investment over the next five years announced by the Japanese automaker in January 2017. The Yellowhammer State has about 57,000 automotive workers, including more than 150 automotive suppliers.

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