Tennessee among states trying to land new Toyota-Mazda plant

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David Dewhurst Photography, AP

NASHVILLE, Tenn. —  Governor Bill Haslam says he is making the case for Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. to build a new assembly plant in Tennessee.

Just last week, Toyota announced they would be building a $1.6 billion facility in the United States that could create up to 4,000 jobs. They have not picked where the plant, which will build the Toyota Corolla, will be built, but added it would be somewhere near the current supply chain.

That’s good news for both Tennessee and Mississippi as the automaker already has a Corolla plant 94 miles south of Memphis in Blue Springs, Mississippi, ABC News reported.

A plus for Tennessee: It’s currently home to General Motors, Nissan and Volkswagen plants, and the state is currently in the process of trying to woo other manufacturers to its Memphis Regional Megasite.

Reuters also pointed out that southern states stand out due to their rail and highway infrastructure and access to major ports.

“There will be a lot people fighting hard for that plant, and we intend to be at the lead,” Governor Haslam told reporters when asked about the project.

With Toyota plants already in state, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama and Texas are sure to throw their hats into the ring. Ohio and Michigan are also reportedly vying for the plant.

Mazda and Toyota announced last week that the joint facility will have an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles, producing the Toyota Corolla sedan and a new Mazda crossover.