Governor Kay Ivey joined representatives of Toyota Boshoku America and local leaders in Limestone County on Wednesday to announce that the global automotive supplier plans to invest over $50 million to open a new manufacturing facility in Athens, creating a total of approximately 400 jobs once full production is reached.
The new Alabama factory will produce seat systems for vehicles built at Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. Inc. (MTMUS), a joint venture assembly plant the automakers are currently building in Huntsville.
Toyota Boshoku is one of the first suppliers to announce plans for a Yellowhammer State facility to produce parts for MTMUS, which is expected to assemble its first vehicle in 2021.
“Toyota Boshoku is a premier manufacturer of automotive interior systems and a welcome addition to Alabama’s growing constellation of world-class auto suppliers,” Ivey said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing the company put down roots in Athens and know that it will find all the ingredients for success in Sweet Home Alabama.”
At the formal announcement event at Athens City Hall, Dr. Shuhei Toyoda of Toyota Boshoku said, “When we began our search for a new site to build our production facility, we looked at many locations. After an extensive search, we determined that Athens, Alabama is the perfect fit. We are grateful for the assistance from the State of Alabama, the City of Athens and Limestone County to make this project a reality.”
The new facility will be located in the Breeding North Industrial Park. The company is anticipating starting construction around May 1.
“Alabama’s economic development team has been working hard to facilitate the formation of the supply chain for MTMUS, and Toyota Boshoku’s decision to locate in Athens will add momentum to our efforts,” Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, stated. “We expect to develop a long-lasting partnership with this outstanding company as it creates well-paying jobs in Alabama.”
Toyota Boshoku Corp., a member of the Toyota group of companies, develops and manufactures automotive interior systems and other components. Its founding company, Toyoda Boshoku, was established in 1918 by the founder of Toyota group, Sakichi Toyoda.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn