The Latest: Toyota and Mazda announce Alabama plant

The Latest on the Toyota-Mazda factory going to Alabama (all times local):

2 p.m.

Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda are building a joint-venture auto plant in Alabama.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and company executives made the announcement in a Wednesday news conference.

Alabama and North Carolina were finalists for the plant that will eventually employ about 4,000 people. It will be able to build 300,000 vehicles per year and will produce the Toyota Corolla compact car for North America and a new small SUV from Mazda, the companies have said.

The plant will be located near Huntsville.

Ivey said, "This is indeed a great day in Alabama."


11:55 a.m.

A decision by Toyota and Mazda to build a joint factory in Alabama instead of rumored rival North Carolina is another miss for one of the few Southeast states never to land a modern carmaker.

Top North Carolina economic development officials weren't commenting ahead of Wednesday's expected corporate announcement. But other leaders were confident that North Carolina's history of refusing to offer the biggest tax breaks to lure multinational companies is the right choice.

Republican state Rep. Jeff Collins represents an area around near of the four massive tracts of vacant land assembled to offer huge employers like the Toyota/Mazda plant. He says the state's fiscal conservatism has encouraged substantial hiring by small- and medium-sized businesses that will never make headlines, but generate most employment.


9:30 a.m.

Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda are making an announcement about their new massive joint factory.

A person briefed says the plant will be in Alabama. The person did not want to be identified because the decision hasn't been made public.

The companies announced Wednesday that there will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. CST. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference about a "major economic development."

The plant will employ about 4,000 people and will be built in Limestone County near Huntsville.

Alabama has an existing law that allows economic incentives, such as payroll rebates, for large projects. Additionally, lawmakers from the area on Tuesday proposed additional local tax incentives that appear aimed at the project. The bill would allow local tax abatements for projects with capital investments over $100 million.