Mazda and Toyota have announced their new joint venture to produce cars and SUVs together in North America, and given a look at their plan for the facility. The new US plant will build Toyota cars and a new Mazda crossover.
The new joint venture company will be known as Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc, or MTMUS. The combined plant will be located in Huntsville, Alabama, and will employ up to 4,000 workers.
The plan for the plant is to split 300,000 units per year equally between the two companies. The plant will build the Corolla for Toyota, but Mazda's vehicle is still somewhat of a mystery. It's a crossover that the company says will be new to the North American market. That could mean a version of the seven-seat CX-8 that the company sells in Japan and Australia, or a new CX-7 replacement. Whatever it is, Mazda will need it to be popular. The automaker's target of 150,000 vehicles per year is just over 2,000 units shy of total US and Canadian sales for its most popular current model, the CX-5 crossover.
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Each automaker will be taking an equal share in the capital cost of the plant as well, with a total investment of US $1.6 billion. It will be the 11th manufacturing facility in the US for Toyota, but the first for Mazda since Ford bought out Mazda's share in the Flat Rock, Michigan plant that assembled Mazda6 sedans until 2012.
Mazda and Toyota already have a partnership that sees a sharing of technology as well as Mazda2 sedans badged as the Toyota Yaris iA in the US and the Yaris Sedan in Canada.
Construction on the new site will start next year, and it's expected to open in 2021.