Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Louisiana tried to woo auto plant with $500M in incentives

Louisiana tried to woo auto plant with $500M in incentives

That announcement is expected to be made Wednesday afternoon in Alabama.

"Alabama is truly honored to have been chosen for this project", Gov. Kay Ivey said at a press conference.

The city of Huntsville will vote on additional incentives today, Underwood said.

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Those opportunities, however, will be as competitive as ever, as Tennessee and Alabama look to capitalize off the major investment mainly through existing and new suppliers for the new plant. That figure does not include a local incentive package still being finalized.

Toyota and Mazda have selected the USA state of Alabama for new auto manufacturing facility. The state's factories are also not unionized - a factor that seems to appeal to foreign automakers.

According to Reuters, Alabama will be the site of the new plant and represents a victory for Trump. North Carolina apparently was a finalist in the running for the huge factory but remains one of the few Southeast states not to land a modern carmaker.

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Workers there also redesigned another model in the Alabama lineup - the Odyssey minivan - which was the fourth new model redesign for the plant over the last three years, an unprecedented schedule for any Honda manufacturing facility in North America. Overall it has 36,000 US employees, not including those at dealerships.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said the project will bring economic benefits to the region for generations. Instead, the Tacoma pickup truck will be built south of the border.

Still, Toyota and Mazda have said their collaboration will respect mutual independence and equality. Starting in 2021, Toyota will be building its Corolla there, while Mazda will produce a new crossover, yet to be named.

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The sheer cost of the plant also makes a partnership logical, as it boosts cost-efficiency and economies of scale. At an estimated $500.5 million in total value, we believe the package is comparable to the state offer in Alabama, where officials apparently have not included the value of their local property tax exemptions or the value of 1,200 acres of donated land for the site, which all would be in addition to their reported $380 million state offer. Toyota already operates an engine production facility in Huntsville and we surmise that asset (which dates back to the early 2000s) provided a strong selling point to project leaders. In 2002, Hyundai announced an assembly facility in Montgomery.

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