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

Fac­tory will cre­ate 4,000 jobs

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD - BY TOM KRISHER AND 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.

AP PHOTO

Toy­ota Mo­tor Corp. Pres­i­dent Akio Toy­oda an­swers a ques­tion dur­ing a joint news con­fer­ence with Mazda Mo­tor Corp. Pres­i­dent Masamichi Ko­gai, not pic­tured, in Tokyo.

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