Mazda plant caps Alabama auto sector's successful year

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The factory will build up to 300,000 vehicles, half of them being the Toyota Corolla and the other half being a new Mazda crossover vehicle.

"By making such cars here in Alabama, we hope that over time our plant will come to occupy a special place in the hearts of our employees and the local community".

That announcement is expected to be made Wednesday afternoon in Alabama.

We asked our Facebook audience why they think Toyota and Mazda passed over North Carolina for an auto production plant.

Customer response tothe new Odyssey has been very encouraging, the automaker says.

That's a familiar stage for Alabama-built Hondas. Instead, the Tacoma pickup truck will be built south of the border. In addition to the existing Toyota engine plant, the state is also home to plants for Hyundai, Honda and Mercedes-Benz. And since the start of vehicle production in Alabama in 2001, Honda has built almost 4.5 million vehicles and engines.

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The two companies will invest $1.6 billion in the state when it builds the auto manufacturing facility near Huntsville in the next two years.

"The partnership between Mazda and Toyota will expand innovative automotive manufacturing in Alabama", said Gov. Kay Ivey.

The three states will be making their best efforts to market their plans to Toyota, Mazda and potential and current suppliers, as reported by the Daily Journal's Dennis Seid. The factory is expected to create 4,000 new jobs, which President Donald Trump praised during his November trip to Tokyo. With more than 150 Tier 1 and 2 automotive suppliers in the state as well as automakers, there are approximately 57,000 automotive manufacturing jobs in Alabama.

And there are other new names, too.

"Alabama's automotive manufacturers continued to make impressive strides in 2017, while also laying the groundwork for growth in production and technology in 2018 and beyond", said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. "Their decision to locate this new facility in Huntsville is a testament to the talented workforce in our state".