Kay Ivey, Governor of Alabama, announced today that the opening of the new Mazda-Toyota factory in Huntsville on the Toyota side would be delayed. But the ultimate impact will be good, said Ivey, because of what Toyota will now build.
Toyota announced on Wednesday that it would build a new entry-level SUV in the factory instead of the Corolla sedan. "It's so new that they do not have a name yet," Ivey told the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce during a luncheon.
Ivey said that Toyota should now open in April 2021 instead of January 2021. The automaker must re-equip parts of the plant and modify its suppliers, the governor said.
"This is good news because the sport utility vehicle (SUV) is very popular, which means that the facilities and these people will be engaged in production much longer than originally planned with the sedan," said Ivey.
After Ivey's speech, a spokesman for Toyota said the company did not yet have the "specific timing / impact (if any)", but that the company was not expecting a "material impact".
"This change responds to the changing demands of the marketplace and the growing consumer appetite for light trucks and SUVs that are making record sales, including Toyota's Toyota RAV4, Toyota's bestseller," Toyota said in a statement. ad.