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Ivey: Mazda Toyota created ‘domino effect’ for state’s automotive industry

In recent years, the Yellowhammer State has emerged as a pre-eminent location for prospective automotive manufacturing companies.

Alabama’s successful efforts to attract automotive suppliers was bolstered Tuesday, when a multimillion-dollar manufacturing plant held its grand opening in Athens.

A joint venture, formed by Toyota Boshoku AKI and Systems Automotive Interiors Alabama, is a $50 million investment in Limestone County.

The project, which stems directly from Mazda-Toyota Manufacturing’s presence in North Alabama, will see the companies unite to manufacture seating for the Toyota Corolla Cross and the Mazda CX-50.

The facility employs more than 400 people, reported WAAY 31, with plans to hire at least 100 more workers. The plant had planned to open in 2020, but its plans were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In attendance for the grand opening was Gov. Kay Ivey, who said Mazda Toyota’s operations in the Tennessee Valley had a “domino effect” for automotive companies locating to Alabama.

“We knew that landing an investment like Mazda Toyota would create a domino effect of new firms looking to find success in Alabama,” said Ivey, according to the outlet. “And TBAKI and SAIA’s commitment to Limestone County and the city of Athens is what made that first domino fall.

“We’re bringing jobs to Alabama, folks. Quality jobs, good-paying jobs. That’s what we’re working so hard to do. And when we can be successful like this, it helps everybody. If people want to work, they can work.”

According to the governor, the Yellowhammer State bolstering its industrial prowess will serve to combat the hardship Alabamians are experiencing from inflation.

“I’ve tasked (state) Finance Director Bill Poole to dig deep into what we can do to fight inflation, but one of the things we’re doing — that we did today — is bring great firms together like this to provide quality jobs for our people,” said Ivey. “So, if our people want to work, goodness knows they got the opportunity. They just have to step up and go to work.”

The Huntsville area has been the beneficiary of nearly 4,000 jobs since the MTM plant began operations, according to WAAY 31.

Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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