With Porsche and Mercedes-Benz both moving their North American headquarters to Atlanta in recent years, it’s fair to say that Georgia has had its share of success in luring the automobile industry to the state. Over the next year Governor Nathan Deal and co. will strap on their economic development hats once more as they try to lure a joint Toyota-Mazda plant that would bring an estimated 4,000 jobs to the state.
Toyota announced the agreement with smaller rival Mazda on Friday, pledging to build a $1.6 billion U.S. plant that will produce some 300,000 vehicles annually. Several southern states are being considered as potential sites, including Tennessee, Alabama, and the Carolinas. Said Dr. Tom Smith of Emory’s Goizueta School of Business, “All of these states have ample amounts of land and workers, but it’s going to come down to which state will give Toyota some levels of tax relief and easements when it comes to water and power supplies.”
The move comes on the heels of pressure from President Donald Trump, who earlier this year criticized Toyota for building a plant in Mexico instead of the United States. Following the announcement he was vocal as ever, exclaiming via Twitter, “Toyota & Mazda to build a new $1.6B plant here in the U.S.A. and create 4K new American jobs. A great investment in American manufacturing!”
The plant is scheduled to be finished in 2021, but expect the corporate recruitment to kick into gear immediately as southern states, including Georgia, vie for the major economic boost that it promises.