Toyota And Mazda Announce New $1.6 Billion Joint Factory In The US


Toyota, the world's largest auto maker, already has a major manufacturing presence in the Midwest and South with factories in Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas.

The new plant will be responsible for building the Toyota Corolla, which was originally planned to be built at Toyota's new plant in Mexico alongside an unnamed Mazda model.

Corolla production in the United States should also take some of the sting off the potential import tax for Toyota, too, as it's one of the brand's bestsellers across the pond, alongside the RAV4 and Camry. With the investment, both automakers can hope to prove their good American corporate citizenship and appease the Trump administration's concerns about jobs moving overseas. Toyoda denied that Trump's views influenced his decision.

Japanese carmakers are also facing uncertainty over US President Donald Trump's drive to support domestic firms over foreign imports.

Trump's pressure to build more vehicles in the US may have affected the timing of Mazda's decision to start manufacturing cars in the USA, as well as Toyota's decision to boost its presence, said John Shook, chief executive of the Lean Enterprise Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Because of its strong dependence on North American market, Mazda absolutely needs to expand its manufacturing footprint here".

The location of the plant is yet to be revealed, but Toyota and Mazda have said it will create 4,000 new jobs. Back in January, Trump threatened Toyota with hefty border taxes in response to its proposal to build a plant in Baja, Mexico.

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Toyota and Mazda also plan to work together on developing in-car information technologies and automated driving functions, as competition intensifies over the development of self-driving vehicles. Toyota, which is the world's second-largest automaker, will be taking 5% share of Mazda.

In May, Toyota had predicted operating profit would fall 20 percent to 1.6 trillion yen ($14.24 billion), while net income is forecast to decline 18 percent to 1.5 trillion yen ($13.35 billion). Toyota and Mazda judged that it is necessary to heighten efficiency through cooperation.

"It has also sparked Toyota's competitive spirit, increasing our sense of not wanting to be bested by Mazda".

Operating profit dropped 11 percent at Toyota Motor the latest quarter with rising incentives and foreign exchange losses broadsiding earnings as Japan's biggest automaker struggled to shift its car-heavy mix to hot-selling light trucks in the important US market.

The companies said their collaboration will respect their mutual independence and equality.

In 2010, Toyota agreed to provide hybrid-car technology to Mazda.

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