Alabama has been named one of two finalists (North Carolina) to win approximately 4,000 new jobs projected to be created by the planned Toyota-Mazda plant, expected to be operational by 2021.

No news yet on a specific home for the plant in the event Alabama is chosen. Both of the Japanese automakers are asking for $1 billion in incentives from the winning state, which will have been selected from a list once including several other Southern states such as Florida, Kentucky, and Mississippi.

   

William Thornton of AL.com reported in November that the $1.6B facility will house production of Toyota’s Corolla and Mazda’s emergent line of hybrid vehicles. The plant projects to make 300,000 cars annually. 

Thornton has also reported on Alabama’s chances to ultimately land the deal. The Rocket City already has a Toyota plant dedicated to producing their truck engines, and the state has a solid reputation for aligning economically with the industries. But there’s speculation that executives may seek more leverage by choosing a state without an auto manufacturer. There’s also concern that the current political climate in Alabama could tip the scales in North Carolina’s favor.

Politics hasn’t stopped the auto manufacturing boom in Alabama yet, but it remains to be seen if the now unprecedented negative political attention will deal the state’s car industry a setback.

By: Stephen Locke

Stephen Locke grew up in north Alabama, and returned to find a beautiful wife and East Limestone mutt to call family, after years of toil and revelry afar, and having absorbed the lesson, "Don'tcha think, sometime's it's wise not to grow up?" His true loves include waterfalls, houseplants, architecture, photography, basketball, and whistling along to his favorite guitar solos.

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