Alabama Reels in $1.6B Toyota-Mazda Plant

The highly coveted auto manufacturing facility project, and the 4,000 new jobs that will come with it, are a coup for Huntsville.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey

The nationwide competition for Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp.’s new joint-venture manufacturing plant is over, and Alabama has emerged victorious. The companies joined Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday, January 10, to announce that the $1.6 billion facility—and the roughly 4,000 jobs it will create—will go to Huntsville.

A bevy of states from across the country vied for the Toyota-Mazda project in a process spearheaded by commercial real estate services firm JLL on the manufacturers’ behalf. “After a thorough national evaluation process, Huntsville was selected as the ideal location for the new plant,” Meredith O’Connor, international director with JLL, said in a prepared statement.

The announcement comes five months after Toyota and Mazda revealed that they had entered into a business and capital alliance, which would include the joint development and joint funding of a manufacturing plant in the U.S. “The partnership between Toyota and Mazda will expand innovative automotive manufacturing in Alabama,” Governor Ivey said in prepared remarks. “Their decision to locate this new facility in Huntsville is a testament to the talented workforce in our state.”

The Toyota-Mazda industrial property will be erected on a site located 14 miles from the 17-year-old Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama, which, the auto giant announced in September 2017, will undergo a $106 million expansion. Toyota and Mazda will invest an equal amount to finance the development of their joint facility, where a whopping 300,000 vehicles will roll out annually.

Auto industry drives Alabama

Home to a long list of car manufacturers, the Yellowhammer State already holds the title of the fifth largest producer of cars and light trucks in the U.S. In 2016, Honda, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz alone accounted for the production of more than 1 million vehicles in the state, according to a report by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. And now, the Toyota-Mazda project marks a turning point.

“With this announcement, our world changes overnight,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle noted in a prepared statement. “It vaults Alabama to the top as an industry leader in producing the next generation of cars that will power our nation.”

Come 2021, Toyota and Mazda will have commenced production activity at the new plant.

Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor of Alabama