UNPRECEDENTED CONSTRUCTION
Industry Today|December 2020
Mazda Toyota Manufacturing’s Huntsville, Ala. assembly plant overcomes multiple challenges to build safely and environmentally responsibly..
David Soyka

Building a factory from the ground up is a complicated undertaking, made even more so during a pandemic. “We’ve faced a number of tremendous challenges,” notes Mark Brazeal, Vice President of Administration for Mazda Toyota Manufacturing (MTM), regarding the joint venture’s construction of a $2.3 billion facility in Huntsville, Ala. expected to be operational sometime in 2021. “I’m very proud of all the teamwork, both within the company as well as in working with state and local agencies, that has enabled us to move forward during unprecedented conditions.”

Pictured above: Final panel of plant being installed May 2020; right: MTM Groundbreaking Ceremony robotic arm shoveling dirt. On stage Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Senator Arthur Orr, Governor Kay Ivey November 2018.

While Toyota has an engine assembly plant in Huntsville, Brazeal notes that MTM conducted a thorough site selection process to pick the best location. “It came down to Huntsville and an area in North Carolina. We went with Huntsville because of the strong support of state and local partners as well as the quality of the community and its strong labor pool,” he says.

PARTNERING FOR THE FUTURE

The Huntsville factory is just one aspect of the Mazda and Toyota partnership, first announced in 2017, which includes joint development of safety technologies and connected vehicle information systems, as well as the design of an electric vehicle. While the companies share common corporate values, MTM is creating its own culture as a new endeavor separate from the parents.

“Two established automakers with well-regarded reputations came together to learn from each other and share technologies,” Brazeal explains. “Mazda’s lean manufacturing processes has helped Toyota improve its own production capabilities, while Mazda benefits from Toyota’s large North American footprint. The new facility is literally a groundbreaking example of how these two companies came together to form something entirely new and exciting.”

Even before COVID-19 forced everyone to re-evaluate safety protocols and general business conduct, MTM had to make several course corrections. One of the first led to a temporary halt in site prep work to protect the habitat of the rare pygmy sunfish, which only lives in a six mile portion of streams that could have been threatened by ongoing construction.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM INDUSTRY TODAYView All

LEARNING LESSONS

Leading-edge software and training gains competitive edge for Innovative Refrigeration Industrial Systems.

7 mins read
Industry Today
December 2020

UNPRECEDENTED CONSTRUCTION

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing’s Huntsville, Ala. assembly plant overcomes multiple challenges to build safely and environmentally responsibly..

6 mins read
Industry Today
December 2020

ONCE UPON A TIME ALL HUMANS HAD DARK SKIN

Skin color, eye color, and hair texture are the primary ways human bodies adapt to intense sunlight in the tropics.

6 mins read
Industry Today
December 2020

ON THE WATERFRONT

East Coast Repair and Fabrication (ECR) provides ship repair, marine construction and industrial fabrication services.

7 mins read
Industry Today
December 2020

FMCGS GET OFF THE SHELF

FMCGs (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) are challenged by booming online retailing during COVID-19. Atos offers a digital playbook for continued success. David Soyka reports.

8 mins read
Industry Today
December 2020

JACK DANIEL'S STORY

Jack Daniel’s is the most iconic whiskey in the world. Here’s the story on how the Tennessee whiskey maker builds on tradition.

6 mins read
Industry Today
December 2020

FL PORTS FOCUS ON STRATEGIC INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS

Plans for $3 billion in infrastructure investments over the next 5 years will strengthen seaports’ role in global commerce

8 mins read
Industry Today
December 2020

SPARTECH'S PAULDING, OHIO PLANT ADAPTS, CREATES JOBS

Spartech’s Paulding, Ohio plant has swiftly pivoted to plexiglass and now has plans to hire approximately 30 new full-time employees.

2 mins read
Industry Today
August 2020

SOLVAY AND BOEING PARTNER ON COVID-19 FACE SHIELDS

“Supersonic” collaboration between strategic partners Solvay and Boeing is yielding over 38,000 face shields to protect healthcare workers.

2 mins read
Industry Today
August 2020

SPARTECH DONATION AIDS IN FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

Spartech has donated essential plastic materials to a company making face shields in the fight against COVID-19.

2 mins read
Industry Today
August 2020
RELATED STORIES

How Toyota Dodged The Chip Shortage

As rivals shutter plants, the automaker’s close monitoring of its supply chain gives it an edge

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
April 12, 2021

2021 SUV OF THE YEAR

Enter the battleground

10+ mins read
Four Wheeler
May 2021

Auto chip shortage may have domino effect in smartphone industry

Auto industry leaders are experiencing disruptions, with estimated production shortfalls in single-digit percentage range in the first quarter of 2021.

1 min read
Industry Leaders
March 2021

CHASING SQUIRRELS

“ There is a hole here,” I said, gazing through the lime green tubing as the front passenger tire inched closer to the hole. “Uh-huh,” he replied.

6 mins read
4LOW Offroad Magazine
February/March 2021

WAR PAINT

Ready for Battle

4 mins read
Street Trucks
February 2021

The Top 5: If you're building a 4x4, then these should be the first items on your list

I was listening to my buddies Verne Simons and Trent McGee on a podcast the other day, and one of the hosts asked them, “What’s the best off-road upgrade you’ve made to a 4x4?” I won’t divulge their answers because, in my opinionated opinion, only one of them answered correctly.

2 mins read
Four Wheeler
March 2021

First time ‘in charge'

You would expect some lessons were to be learned on extended trailer trip

10+ mins read
The Good Life
February 2021

AUTOART - 2018 TOYOTA CENTURY

1:18 | $230 | no. 78762

3 mins read
Die Cast X
Winter 2021

TRAVEL TOY

Snow, sand, and mud—Joel Lawrence’s 4Runner does it all with an M101 trailer in tow

3 mins read
Four Wheeler
February 2021

Lowe Mill Arts

An Art Pilgrimage in Huntsville, Alabama

6 mins read
JUXTAPOZ
Winter 2021