State lawmakers react to news about Toyota-Mazda plant coming to North Alabama

Huntsville planning a special district that could help bring in Toyota-Mazda plant

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – As Huntsville-annexed Limestone County is poised for a big development sought after by many states, lawmakers are proud of the effort it took to get here.

Toyota officials said last month they expected to make a decision in early 2018 on the location for a new auto-making plant they’re building with Mazda. Alabama and North Carolina were the last two players at the table.

On Tuesday, multiple sources confirmed that a decision has been made and north Alabama was chosen.

“I’m supportive of all the work that has been done to try to bring this industry to Alabama,” said Rep. Mac McCutcheon (R-Madison County.) “It was truly a group effort, if you will. Just as we always do in North Alabama, the locals come together along with the state officials. And we work together to try to bring industry and jobs for our people up there.”

After months of being tight-lipped, officials spoke after the news broke Tuesday. Toyota and Mazda are planning to build a $1.6 billion car-making plant. The location that drew interest is the TVA megasite in Athens near exit 3 off I-565. The megasite is 1,200 acres, and mostly farmland now, but will soon be home to a plant employing 4,000 people.  An approximate 1,200 more acres were also purchased for the project.

“The automotive plant is going to be great for North Alabama. We have diversified our economy there,” said Rep. Anthony Daniels, (D-Huntsville.)

The thought in Montgomery is that this plant means to even more job growth as supporting industries take hold, too.

But for many, the best news is jobs, jobs, jobs.

“I think it’s wonderful. I’m always pleased when we have new businesses and companies come in,” said Rep. Laura Hall (D-Madison County.) “That means more jobs, so I’m very excited.”

Elected officials look forward to an upcoming press event to formally announce the plant on Wednesday in Montgomery. We plan to have a crew there to bring you the latest.