Alabama, which seeks to emerge a major auto making hub in the south, will get a $1.6-billion joint venture plant by Japanese car giants Toyota and Mazda that will eventually employ 4,000 people.
The new plant will be based in Huntsville, which is already a hub for the region's budding aerospace industry. The plant will roll out 300,000 vehicles per year, a combination of the Toyota Corolla compact car and a new small crossover SUV from Mazda. Production is scheduled to start by 2021.
"This is indeed a great day in Alabama," an upbeat governor Kay Ivey said yesterday, at a news conference in the state capital, Montgomery. Alabama offered an incentive package worth over $379 million to lure the plant.
Currently Honda and Hyundai operate assembly plants in Alabama.
"This project will really put Alabama at the center of the Southern automotive industry," Alabama commerce secretary Greg Canfield said. "We can't wait to see 'Made in Alabama' in those vehicles rolling down the assembly line."
Alabama had already tied up with Tennessee as the fifth-largest producer of vehicles in the US last year, according to the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
According to the centre, Alabama produced 9 per cent of the cars made in the country.
The new plant where the annual salary will average $50,000, according to state officials, will produce $951 million in net revenue to the state after the incentives are taken into account.
President Trump praised the decision and congratulated the state late yesterday.
"Toyota and Mazda announce giant new Huntsville, Alabama, plant which will produce over 300,000 cars and SUV's a year and employ 4000 people," Trump said on Twitter. "
The plant will make the Toyota Corolla sedan and a new Mazda crossover.
"Being here today feels like a homecoming for Toyota and me personally," said Toyota president Akio Toyoda at a ceremony to announce the new plant. "Alabama is already home to hundreds of our team members who build 700,000 engines per year for North American vehicles at our plant in Huntsville."