Mazda and Toyota announced Huntsville as the city of choice for a new manufacturing plant on Wednesday.
Mazda Motor Corporation CEO Masamichi Kogai and Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda made the announcement alongside Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey that the north Alabama city had been selected as the site for a joint-venture manufacturing plant. Both corporations expect to invest a total of $1.6 billion into the project, a site that is anticipated to produce 300,000 vehicles annually starting in 2021. The project is expected to create 4,000 new jobs at a median salary of $50,000 a year.
The partnership comes as Mazda looks to build its presence in the US auto market and marks a bigger commitment to US ventures from Toyota, with the new site being built just miles away from its Huntsville motor manufacturing facility. “Our investment to establish a new vehicle assembly plant with Mazda builds on the very success we have enjoyed in Alabama,” Toyoda said in a statement. “We are committed to becoming a ‘best-in-town company’ in the city of Huntsville and the state of Alabama.”
Huntsville was chosen after a major bidding competition involving 12 states, the closest competitor being North Carolina. In a move to secure the bid, an incentive package was put together by the state totaling nearly $400 million dollars. According to data from the Alabama Department of Commerce, this includes jobs and investment credits worth an estimated $300 million dollars over the next 10 years, as well as sales and property tax abatements.
The announcement has been welcomed by local and state officials, with U.S. Sen. Doug Jones calling the decision “a tremendous step forward for Alabama’s growing technology sector and our ability to recruit quality businesses in the future.” Huntsville mayor Tommy Battle said the new site “vaults Alabama to the top as an industry leader in producing the next generation of cars that will power our nation.”