Mazda and Toyota broke ground on their joint-venture plant in Alabama last November. At the time, the plant was planned to produce the current-generation Toyota Corolla, eventually growing to include an as-yet unnamed Mazda crossover. Now, those plans have changed.
Toyota announced on Wednesday that it will replace the Corolla’s in the Alabama facility with this new SUV. The Corolla will be built at Toyota’s plant in Mississippi.
Toyota explained the shift in plans due to "changing market demands and a growing consumer appetite for light trucks and SUV’s” which has been the direction the market's been moving for years now.
The $1.6 billion Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA facility in Huntsville should be up and running in 2021. Hiring is already happening, and the plant is expected to create about 4,000 new jobs.