MS could be home to new auto plant

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Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda plan to build a $1.6 billion assembly plant and the shortlist of states includes Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas, the journal reports.

Toyota plans to build its Corolla compact auto for the North American market while Mazda would use the plant to build crossover vehicles that combine features of passenger cars and sport-utility vehicles.

The duo will also be opening a manufacturing facility in the United States, which will come online from 2021, and the factory will produce various different models including the Corolla for the American market.

Toyota said the delay was necessary to adjust its supply chain in Mexico to produce the truck-based Tacoma pickup model instead of the Corolla compact vehicle. Bevin told the station he has a personal relationship with Toyota Motor Corp.

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Governor Phil Bryant is open and welcome to the idea of the joint plant coming to state. "And I intend to beat them", Bevin said.

One expert who spoke at the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association conference Monday agreed that MS is the most likely location for the plant.

But Toyota also has factory in MS, which "looks to be the frontrunner" state for the Toyota-Mazda plant, Bloomberg News said in a recent story.

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