Alabama picked to host huge auto plant

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda on Wednesday announced plans to build a huge, $1.6 billion joint-venture plant in Alabama that will eventually employ about 4,000 people.

Several states had competed for the coveted project, which will be able to turn out 300,000 vehicles per year and will produce the Toyota Corolla compact car for North America and a new, small SUV from Mazda. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and company executives held a joint news conference to announce that the facility is coming to the Huntsville area not far from the Tennessee line. Production is expected to begin by 2021.

“This is indeed a great day in Alabama,” Ivey said. “Thank you for believing in the potential of our people in the great state of Alabama. … Toyota and Mazda, thank you so much. Welcome to sweet home Alabama.”

To lure the plant, the state offered an incentive package of $370

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