Alabama and North Carolina are the final states left in the running for Toyota and Mazda’s $1.6 billion collaborative production venture. Tennessee, Texas and South Carolina are now out of the running but, as you know, there can only be one.
Which state is the smart money on? Your guess is as good as ours, but Toyota does already have an engine manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama. It might make sense to keep things centrally located, especially if it NAFTA falls through and Toyota has to shift Corolla production back to Mexico and bring the Tacoma into the states. Of course, if that doesn’t happen, a factory closer to West Virginia and the little 2ZR-FE DOHC might be preferable.
Of course, with both companies pressing for a billion-dollar incentive package to build on U.S. soil, the final decision may come down to whichever state is willing to provide the better deal.
Based on Toyota’s August announcement, the site will have an annual capacity of around 300,000 units and will create some 4,000 jobs.
The shared factory is expected to open in 2021 and would be the first new auto assembly plant to be announced under President Donald Trump — who has been both pressuring and praising Toyota (and other manufacturers) over building vehicles in the United States. A final decision is expected to be announced by the automakers early next year.
[Source: Automotive News] [Image: Toyota]