January 24, 2019

Louisiana tried to woo auto plant with $500M in incentives

12 January 2018, 03:31 | Joann Bryant

Toyota, Mazda Offered at Least $700 Million Incentive Package for Alabama Plant

Toyota-Mazda’s $1.6 billion Alabama plant leaves room to expand

"Last year was an exciting and successful time for MBUSI - the celebration of 20 years of production in Alabama and we got our first glimpse of what's to come in the future with the announcement of an additional $1 billion investment in our plant".

But the Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says that estimate didn't include the value of local property tax breaks or donated land in Alabama for the site. With the nation's most productive manufacturing workforce and No. 1 state workforce training program, Louisiana can make a compelling case for new investment. For Mazda, the plant represents an enhanced commitment to the US market with an increased focus on manufacturing and sales in the country. "We are proud that this partnership puts Alabama on the forefront of technology in this dynamic global industry". The Huntsville area has 50,000 auto-related jobs, Carter said, calling the new plant an "additive to an already-robust manufacturing sector in northern Alabama".

Beyond that, suppliers continue to build new plants and expand existing operations in Alabama, including BOCAR, which plans a $115 million plant in Huntsville that will create more than 300 jobs.

Mazda Motor president and CEO Masamichi Kogai said: "Mazda makes cars with a clear vision of how we want to inspire people, contribute to society and help preserve the beauty of the earth. By making this plant a vibrant part of that community, we hope to work, learn and grow together with the people of Alabama and Huntsville", Kogai said.

Aside from Toyota's original production facility and the upcoming one, Alabama is also home to a Mercedes-Benz plant. Starting in 2021, Toyota will be building its Corolla there, while Mazda will produce a new crossover, yet to be named.

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.

Alabama ranked 44th out of 48 mainland US states in overall manufacturing costs previous year, contributing to its appeal, said John Boyd, a site selection specialist based in Princeton, New Jersey, who didn't work on this deal.

In Montgomery, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama produced 328,400 cars and SUVs during 2017, along with 620,159 engines.

In the coming months, after obtaining approvals and authorization by antitrust agencies, the new joint venture will be established, and site preparations will begin with the start of production in 2021.

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