State: Toyota-Mazda plant not coming to Memphis-area site

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A state official says Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. have eliminated an industrial site in Tennessee from consideration for their new auto manufacturing plant.

Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe said the Japanese automakers passed on the Memphis Regional Megasite was because it is not “shovel-ready,” compared with sites in other states.

Toyota and Mazda have announced plans to jointly build a $1.6 billion plant in the U.S. The automakers say the move will create 4,000 jobs and the plant will have an annual production capacity of about 300,000 vehicles.

The industrial site is located about 30 miles east of Memphis. The state has appropriated more than $140 million for the yet-unfinished Megasite since it was purchased in 2009.