Toyota, Mazda partnering on $1.6-billion U.S. plant
TOKYO — Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. plan to spend $1.6 billion to jointly build an auto manufacturing plant in the U.S. — a move that will create up to 4,000 jobs, both sides said Friday.
The plant will have an annual production capacity of about 300,000 vehicles, and will produce Toyota Corollas as well as a new Mazda crossover vehicle for the North American market.
Toyota wouldn’t say where the plant would be built. But because the new plant will build the Corolla, chances are it will be located near Toyota’s current Corolla plant in Mississippi to be close to parts supply companies. The companies expect the plant to begin operations by 2021.
Toyota said it changed its plan to make Corollas at a plant in Guanajuato, Mexico, now under construction, after reassessing the market. Instead it will produce Tacoma pickups there, Toyota president Akio Toyoda said.
In 2015, Toyota announced it would shift production of Corollas from its plant in Cambridge to Mexico. It later announced that it would replace Corolla production in Cambridge with expanded production of the RAV4 sport utility vehicle, which also is assembled in the company’s plant in Woodstock.
The Toyota-Mazda agreement doesn’t affect plans for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada.
Corolla production is still expected to end in Cambridge in 2019, replaced with the RAV4, and the plant in Mississippi will continue to produce Corollas. In an email, Baal said Toyota will closely monitor market conditions and consider back-up production of the Corolla in Japan if necessary.
President Donald Trump had criticized Toyota and other automakers for taking production to Mexico, saying vehicles for the U.S. market should be built by U.S. workers. Toyoda denied Trump’s views influenced his decision.
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 plans to acquire a 5.05 per cent stake in Mazda, valued at 50 billion yen ($455 million). Mazda, which makes the Miata roadster, will acquire 50 billion yen worth of Toyota shares, the equivalent of a 0.25 per cent stake.