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Mazda and Toyota begin construction of a factory in Alabama

Collaborations between Mazda and Toyota have been ongoing for some time, and there’s no sign the two Japanese automakers will be putting an end to the joint projects any time soon. The companies have begun construction of a joint assembly plant in Huntsville, Alabama.

The project, tagged with an estimated cost of $1.6 billion USD, will create 4,000 jobs in the region. In addition, to mark the beginning of construction, the automakers made a $750,000 donation to help finance local programs aimed at encouraging students to work in the automotive industry and related fields, and under which various training programs will be offered. Ahead of the new plant’s completion, a search is already underway for qualified labour to staff it.

It goes without saying the project is making authorities in Alabama very happy indeed.

If all goes to plan, the first car should roll off the Huntsville plant’s assembly line in 2021. It has been confirmed that one of the cars to be produced there will be the just-unveiled new 2020 Corolla. A new, yet-to-be-revealed Mazda SUV will also be built at the new plant. The automakers foresee an annual production of 300,000 vehicles.

For the moment, it’s not known what proportion of that production will be branded Toyota or Mazda, but we suspect we’ll be seeing more of the former than the latter come out of the plant.