HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Toyota is shifting production plans at its new joint venture plant under construction in North Alabama to meet the growing demand for SUVs.
On Wednesday, the company announced the change for the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. (MTMUS) assembly plant as an opportunity to build a new, yet-to-be announced SUV.
This shift is in response to changing market demands and a growing consumer appetite for light trucks and SUVs which are achieving record sales, including Toyota’s best-selling RAV4, Toyota said in a press release.
At the site selection announcement in January 2018 and groundbreaking event in November 2018, Toyota indicated that they would making the Corolla and Mazda would be building a yet-to-be named crossover model.
Now, Toyota will assemble a yet-to-be named SUV and Mazda still plans to assemble its yet-to-be named crossover model.
Corolla production continues at Toyota’s Blue Springs, Miss. plant.
Mazda Toyota released this statement on Wednesday:
The opportunity to assemble a new Toyota SUV gives Mazda Toyota Manufacturing growing confidence in our team members when we begin vehicle production in 2021. Together with our suppliers, business partners and the strong support we’ve received from elected officials in Huntsville and Montgomery, we’re looking forward to the day when we’re assembling world-class Mazda and Toyota vehicles for our customers.
Construction of the Mazda Toyota plant remains on schedule, with the start of production expected to begin in 2021.
Up to 4,000 new jobs will be created and hiring is underway.
In August 2017, Toyota and Mazda announced their collaboration to establish MTMUS, a $1.6 billion joint venture that will assemble up to 300,000 vehicles annually.