Mazda, Toyota start building Alabama factory

The plant will build 300,000 cars annually starting in 2021.

Toyota and Mazda have started building the factory they'll jointly operate in Huntsville, Alabama. The project represents a $1.6 billion investment split by the two firms.

The companies predict they'll create about 4,000 jobs in the Huntsville area, and they're already laying the foundations of a skilled workforce they'll be able to recruit employees from. As part of the groundbreaking ceremony, they donated $750,000 to fund local programs that will motivate students to work in the advanced manufacturing field and provide job training.

Government officials applauded Toyota and Mazda's decision to invest in Alabama.

"One thing I've learned with Toyota being in our state is that they care for the communities where they do business - it is, after all, their home, too. And they prove it every day. We are lucky to have Mazda and Toyota expanding in Alabama," said Alabama governor Kay Ivey in a statement.

The Huntsville factory will build its first car in 2021. It will produce the all-new Corolla (pictured), which Toyota introduced during a media event in November 2018, and a brand-new crossover that Mazda hasn't unveiled yet. The plant will have an annual production capacity of 300,000 cars, but Toyota and Mazda haven't revealed how they will split that number yet.

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