Toy­ota, Mazda plan $1.6-bil­lion U.S. plant

Fac­tory will create 4,000 jobs

Cape Breton Post - - World - BY TOM KRISHER A ND YURI KAGEYAMA

Ja­panese au­tomak­ers Toy­ota Mo­tor Corp. and Mazda Mo­tor Corp. plan to spend US$1.6 bil­lion to build a joint-ven­ture auto man­u­fac­tur­ing plant in the U.S. — a move that will create up to 4,000 jobs, both sides said.

The plant will have an an­nual pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of about 300,000 ve­hi­cles and will pro­duce Toy­ota Corol­las for the North Amer­i­can mar­ket. Mazda will make cross-over mod­els there that it plans to in­tro­duce to that mar­ket, the com­pa­nies said.

Toy­ota and Mazda are form­ing a cap­i­tal al­liance and split­ting the cost for the plant equally. It is due to be­gin op­er­a­tions by 2021.

Af­ter re­assess­ing the mar­ket, Toy­ota has changed its plan to make Corol­las at a plant in Gua­na­ju­ato, Mex­ico, now un­der con­struc­tion, and in­stead will pro­duce Ta­coma pick­ups there, Toy­ota Pres­i­dent Akio Toy­oda said.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump had crit­i­cized Toy­ota for tak­ing auto pro­duc­tion and jobs to Mex­ico. With the in­vest­ment, both au­tomak­ers can hope to prove their good Amer­i­can cor­po­rate cit­i­zen­ship and ap­pease the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s con­cerns about jobs mov­ing over­seas.

Toy­oda de­nied that Trump’s views in­flu­enced his de­ci­sion.

“We have been re­view­ing the best pro­duc­tion strat­egy for our busi­ness,” he told re­porters at a Tokyo ho­tel, af­ter shak­ing hands with Mazda’s pres­i­dent.

Trump wel­comed the an­nounce­ment in a Tweet: “Toy­ota & Mazda to build a new $1.6B plant here in the U.S.A. and create 4K new Amer­i­can jobs. A great in­vest­ment in Amer­i­can man­u­fac­tur­ing!”

Toy­ota wouldn’t say where the plant would be built, but it’s likely to be in the South, near the rest of the com­pany’s U.S. fac­to­ries.

Also, since this plant will build the Corolla, it likely will be near Toy­ota’s cur­rent Corolla plant in Mis­sis­sippi to be close to parts sup­ply com­pa­nies.

The com­pa­nies also plan to work to­gether on var­i­ous ad­vanced auto tech­nol­ogy, such as elec­tric ve­hi­cles, safety fea­tures and con­nected cars, as well as prod­ucts that they could sup­ply each other, they said.

Toy­ota plans to ac­quire 31,928,500 shares of com­mon stock newly is­sued by Mazda through a third-party al­lot­ment, which will amount to a 5.05 per cent stake in Mazda, val­ued at 50 bil­lion yen ($455 mil­lion).

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