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Toyota and Mazda pick Alabama as site of joint plant

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Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. have chosen Alabama as the site of a new $1.6 billion automotive plant, state officials announced today. 

North Carolina was a finalist for the plant, which will employ up to 4,000 people and produce about 300,000 vehicles a year, and South Carolina was also in contention. Reuters reported the decision today, as did the Birmingham Business Journal and Birmingham-based news website AL.com.

The plant, which will be located in the Huntsville region, is expected to open in 2021. The plant's average salary will be $50,000, AL.com reported. 

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey confirmed the news this afternoon, tweeting: "Alabama is proud and honored to partner with two very distinguished auto manufacturers, in Toyota and Mazda, as our state continues to become a leader in the auto manufacturing sector." 

Ivey participated in a news conference at 3 p.m. during which Alabama politicians and business leaders heralded the announcement. 

The Raleigh News & Observer reported Tuesday that North Carolina did not have the supply chain logistics the car companies wanted. North Carolina is the only Southeastern state that does not have an automotive plant, according to the Triangle Business Journal.

Alabama boasts a large Toyota engine plant as well as an existing network of automotive suppliers.

The companies reportedly sought at least $1 billion in economic incentives.

"North Carolina delivered a very attractive offer for the Toyota-Mazda plant, and we couldn't have done so without the strong collaborative efforts of partners from across the state," N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland said in a statement. "We know that company officials were impressed with this display of teamwork, and I'm confident the collaborative efforts to prepare industrial sites, along with North Carolina's talented workers and their can-do spirit, will result in long-term growth for our state."

Copeland told the Triangle Business Journal that North Carolina offered more than $1.5 billion overall for the plant.

Last September, Toyota announced a $106 milion technology upgrade for its engine plant in Hunstville.

The companies narrowed their choices to Alabama and North Carolina in November. Five other locations were initially considered, including South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Illinois. 

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January 17, 2018

Congrats to the State of Alabama. I will be interesting to see if the Alabama State Docks can handle the volume Good Luck David