Production begins at new Alabama auto plant; hiring ongoing

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (AP) — Production has begun at a new auto plant in north Alabama and the companies running the facility continue to hire workers at a brisk pace.

Work on the first 2022 Corolla Cross vehicles began with the press of a button at the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, a joint venture between Mazda Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp.

In 2018, the Japanese automakers selected Huntsville, Alabama, for the mammoth facility that will eventually have the capability to produce up to 300,000 vehicles per year, split evenly between Mazda and Toyota.

The joint venture on Thursday said it was in the middle of hiring another 1,700 workers and anticipates reaching up to 4,000 employees once production is in full operation next year.

“This is the moment MTM and our North Alabama community have waited for since we broke ground in November 2018,” said Mark Brazeal, a vice president at the facility. “We are excited to see Corolla Cross in dealerships across the U.S.”

More than $2.3 billion has been invested in the plant and the companies last year committed another $830 million to ensure cutting-edge technologies could be worked into its manufacturing processes.

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