Toyota, Mazda to build $1.6B plant in US

Georgetown Kentucky Toyota Plant

The plant will have an annual production capacity of about 300,000 vehicles, and will produce Toyota Corollas as well as a new Mazda crossover vehicle for the North American market.

The move is likely to be seen as a win for President Trump, who attacked Toyota earlier this year over its plans to build a new factory in Guanajuato, Mexico.

A new Mazda SUV crossover will also be made at the new United States factory, with the two companies hoping production will begin in 2021.

When it comes to technology collaboration, Mazda and Toyota say they will jointly develop electric cars.

The two have also agreed to join forces to develop electric vehicle technology.

Toyota said that it changed its plan to make Corollas at a plant in Mexico, now under construction, and instead will produce Tacoma pickups there.

"NO WAY!" Trump said in a tweet two weeks before taking office.

Toyota will acquire about 5 percent in Mazda, which will hold a 0.25 percent in the bigger automaker in a capital tie-up, according to a Japanese regulatory filing.

Toyota and Mazda are forming a capital alliance and splitting the cost for the plant equally.

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The alliance is also an attempt to catch up with rivals in the race for electric vehicle technology, as tighter global emissions rules loom, along with the entry of new players into the market.

Volkswagen AG VOWG_p.DE opened the last new USA assembly plant in 2011 in Tennessee to build new cars after getting almost $600 million in tax incentives. A great investment in American manufacturing!

Meanwhile, Mazda was once in a long-running alliance with Ford, until the Dearborn, Michigan automaker chose to end the relationship and sell its stake in Mazda in 2008.

Toyota has been creating alliances with Japanese rivals for years.

Toyota already provides hybrid technology to Mazda, which also makes compact cars for Toyota at its Mexico plant.

The union has struggled to expand beyond its stronghold at Detroit automakers to foreign-owned plants, especially in the southern US.

Sales in China, the world's top auto market followed by the United States, was a bright spot for Mazda, rising 20 percent to 71,000 units, lifting the automaker's global sales by 1 percent. In February it announced a plan to co-operate with Suzuki in research and development, and already works with Subaru on a compact sports auto model.

For Toyota, the investment is a push to expand USA vehicle-making capacity and market share and intensify its attack on the Detroit automakers' lucrative truck business.

Mazda caters to a specific audience largely in North America with its design-conscious sedans and SUVs, and has been focusing on developing more fuel-efficient gasoline engines.

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