First steel column rises at Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA in Alabama

First steel column rises at Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA in Alabama
Masa Aihara, president of Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA, oversees the raising of the first beam for the new Huntsville facility. (MTMUS)

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA has marked a milestone in its $1.6 billion project to build an auto assembly plant in Alabama, as the first steel column is now in place at the construction site in Limestone County.

The development signals that construction is well underway on the plant, which will produce 300,000 vehicles annually.

“Today marks an exciting milestone for the MTMUS team and the state of Alabama,” said Masashi Aihara, president of MTMUS. “We are fully committed to this project and we can now see the beginning of our new campus taking shape.

“Soon, we will be proud to say, ‘Built in Alabama’ with pride.”

Team members celebrated the milestone with a small gathering at the plant site.

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA team members cheer as the first steel beam is put in place at the automakers’ joint venture assembly plant in Huntsville. (MTMUS)

Highlights of the massive construction project include:

  • 3 million cubic yards of dirt will be graded for site preparation — enough dirt to fill the Empire State Building twice.
  • 150,000 cubic yards of gravel poured to create the plant foundation, equal to filling 46 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • 2,500 construction workers projected to be on site by late summer.

Despite a heavy rain season, construction of the advanced manufacturing facility remains on schedule, the automakers said. The construction project officially began last November with a groundbreaking ceremony.

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs at the Huntsville plant and is hiring professional staff and skilled maintenance positions. Additional job postings will be added throughout the summer, with production hiring starting later in 2019.

Interested candidates can learn more here.

Mazda and Toyota announced their plans for the Alabama facility in January 2018.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.

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