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

Turning Over

More than a decade after the original Leaf, Nissan rolls out its second EV.

2 mins read
Car and Driver
May 2022

TOYOTA RECALLS 460,000 VEHICLES FOR STABILITY CONTROL GLITCH

Toyota is recalling about 460,000 vehicles in the U.S. to fix a software problem that can inadvertently disable the electronic stability control system.

1 min read
Techlife News
April 16, 2022

JAPAN'S NISSAN PLANS ‘GAME CHANGING' ELECTRIC CAR BATTERIES

Nissan is working with NASA on a new type of battery for electric vehicles that promises to charge quicker and be lighter yet safe, the Japanese automaker said.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
April 15, 2022

TOYOTA UNVEILS FIRST ELECTRIC VEHICLE SINCE RAV4 EV IN 2014

Toyota, the top-selling automaker in the U.S., is rolling out its first fully electric vehicle in eight years.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
April 15, 2022

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Mazda's 1991 Le Mans victory is a fairy tale of fortitude and fortuitousness. Against the superpowers of sportscars, they stood no chance... allegedly

6 mins read
CAR
May 2022

Emissions

Some argue that committing to an EV-only future is premature. They highlight the human and environmental cost of mining some of the metals required for EV batteries, as well as the high carbon emissions of EV production and electricity generation in many markets. Confused? We investigate and explain...

6 mins read
CAR
May 2022

Off-road Conquerer

We are one of the first to drive the new Ineos Grenadier offroader and it's already showing its passion for adventure

6 mins read
CAR
May 2022

US ELECTRIC VEHICLE TAX CREDITS ENDING FOR NEW TOYOTA BUYERS

Toyota customers soon won’t be able to get U.S. federal tax credits for buying electric or hybrid vehicles.

2 mins read
Techlife News
April 09, 2022

5 SUVS TO HELP YOU SAVE AT THE PUMP

As of this writing, the national average fuel price is $4.24 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association. Up 20% from a month ago, gas prices aren’t likely to taper or deflate unless crude oil supply improves or consumer demand softens. Until that happens, costly fill-ups are hitting Americans who are already grappling with inflation.

3 mins read
AppleMagazine
April 08, 2022

Stepping Up On EV Growth

The South African electric vehicle (EV) landscape is set to accelerate in 2022 with a slew of new models. But with all its power and load-shedding issues, is South Africa ready?

3 mins read
Forbes Africa
April - May 2022