Toyota, Mazda plan $1.6-billion U.S. plant
Factory will create 4,000 jobs
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.
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.