The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, December 07, 2021 1:00 am

Toyota facility set for North Carolina

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. – Toyota said Monday it plans to build a $1.3 billion electric vehicle battery plant in North Carolina that will employ at least 1,750 and help meet its growing goals of electric vehicle sales this decade.

Company leaders joined Gov. Roy Cooper and other elected and economic-development officials to unveil the project on hundreds of acres at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite in Liberty, about 70 miles west of Raleigh.

Initially, Toyota will or could receive more than $430 million in cash incentives, tax breaks and infrastructure upgrades from North Carolina and local governments if it meets job creation and investment goals, according to officials and documents.

The Japanese automaker said the plant would start making batteries in 2025.

The announcement marks a massive accomplishment for the Greensboro-area economy, which is looking for replacement jobs after the region's generations-old textile industry shriveled in the 1990s and 2000s.

Local leaders had been working several years to land such a big company at the site. North Carolina lost out to Alabama for a joint Toyota-Mazda automobile manufacturing plant about four years ago.

“Good things come to those who wait,” Cooper said, saying the production will help North Carolina meet its goal as a clean-energy leader. “We hope in the future everything that goes around the battery will be part of this as well.”

The plant is part of $3.4 billion that Toyota plans to spend in the U.S. on automotive batteries during the next decade. It didn't detail where the remaining $2.1 billion would be spent, but part of that likely will go for another battery factory.

Toyota will form a new company to run the new plant with Toyota Tsusho, a subsidiary that makes an array of parts for the automaker. The company also will help Toyota expand its U.S. supply chain, as well as increase its knowledge of lithium-ion auto batteries, Toyota said.

The site is relatively close to many of Toyota's existing U.S. auto assembly plants in Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama and Texas. The company has yet to announce where it will build fully electric vehicles for sale in the U.S.

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