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Industry News: The Big Fight For the Toyota-Mazda Plant

William Maley

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Only a few weeks ago, Toyota and Mazda surprised everyone by announcing a new alliance. The two would collaborate on a number of projects including a $1.6 billion assembly plant, possibly bringing 4,000 new jobs. At the time, the two automakers haven't decided where the plant would go, which sent various states in a frenzy.

A report from the Detroit Free Press has learned that the two have sent out a blind request for proposals from states in Midwest, mid-Atlantic and South. Sources tell the paper that the request was from an unidentified employer that was considering options for a new project known as 'Project Mitt'. State officials have sent preliminary proposals that include potential tax incentives, job training programs, and investments in infrastructure.

Opportunities like this are very rare and states are pulling all of the stops out to land this plant.

“You have to be able to punch the ticket. You have to be able to say you’ve got the workforce, you’ve got the land, you’ve got the transportation systems and rail spurs, community college and education and a place where people want to live,” said Kristin Dziczek, director of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research.

“Once you’ve got all that, tax incentives come into play.”

We recommend checking out the Free Press' report as it lists the states in contention from Alabama to Texas with pros and cons.

Source: Detroit Free Press

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What else is new?  The South has been getting nearly all the new plants since the 1980s because of cheap labor and big tax breaks.  If only states and localities stopped this economically insane race to the bottom, then maybe auto companies (and pro sports teams!) would stop expecting the corporate equivalent of an unearned free lunch.

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