GREENSBORO, N.C.--- After months and months of hoping and courting Toyota-Mazda, the company has decided where it will put its joint plant and, spoiler alert, it's not North Carolina.
Late Tuesday, the story broke on the decision to put the joint Toyota-Mazda manufacturing plant in Alabama. A WFMY News 2 source confirmed the plant will be in the Huntsville Megasite located in Limestone County, Alabama.
A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday at 3pm EST in Alabama.
NC State Rep. Jon Hardister released this statement to WFMY News 2 after hearing the news:
If the report is true, we're disappointed, but not deterred. The Megasite Project will proceed. I feel very positive about it.
WFMY News 2 has been reporting for months on the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, in Randolph County, as a player in the quest to lure the manufacturing plant.
Toyota and Mazda announced last year the $1.6 billion dollar automobile manufacturing plant will bring about 4,000 jobs.
There are no auto manufacturing plants in North Carolina and it doesn't appear as if that will change anytime soon.
Why Alabama over North Carolina?
Last fall USA TODAY broke down the pros and cons of the two states for landing the plant
Why it could win: Low-cost labor, bustling auto sector.
Why it could lose: Might not have enough workers.
- Alabama's vibrant auto manufacturing sector could help or hurt.
- Three auto assembly plants made more than 1 million vehicles in 2016 in Alabama. The industry employed nearly 40,000 people in a right-to-work state desperate for good-paying jobs.
- State development officials declined to directly discuss any efforts to land a proposed Toyota-Mazda assembly plant.
- But Gov. Kay Ivey said new incentives laws have made Alabama more attractive to expanding companies. The changes she signed into law in May raised the annual state incentives cap to $300 million.
- Ivey said Alabama's reputation as “a proven manufacturing state” also helps.
- Alabama has Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota plants. North Alabama is the “more likely area” for the project if Alabama lands it, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said.
Why it could win: No automotive assembly plants to compete with for talent.
Why it could lose: If the state is viewed as not having enough of a manufacturing workforce.
- North Carolina doesn't have any automotive assembly plants, which could prove enticing to Toyota because of the chance to bolster its political clout from the swing-state's congressional delegation.
- But the Tar Heel State has 26,000 workers at companies that supply the auto industry.
- North Carolina's tech-savvy Research Triangle could prove enticing, said John Boyd, head of Boyd Co. Inc., a location consultant.
--Ted Evanoff, Memphis Commercial-Appeal
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