Automakers Toyota, Mazda to build joint plant in US

Washington: Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda have announced an investment of $1.6 billion for their new joint manufacturing plant in US state of Alabama.

The plant, to be built in the city of Huntsville, is expected to open in 2021 and is capable of making 300,000 cars a year while creating up to 4,000 jobs, the two companies said on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corp., said he was confident that the plant would be a “built-in-America success story”.

The joint plant will be the company’s 11th US manufacturing facility and represents its continued commitment in the country.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey noted that the two companies’ plan “will expand innovative automotive manufacturing,” adding that “We are proud that this partnership puts Alabama on the forefront of technology in this dynamic global industry.”

Alabama is the fifth largest producer of cars and light trucks in the US. With more than 150 Tier one and two automotive suppliers as well as automakers, there are approximately 57,000 automotive manufacturing jobs in the state.

The two Japanese automakers announced in August that they would build a new joint plant in the US. In the fall out of the announcement,about a dozen of US states were in hot pursuit to win the project.

Toyota said the new plant had nothing to do with pressure from US President Donald Trump, who criticized the automaker in January last year for setting up a new plant in Mexico to make cars for the North American market.