State of the Union 2018: President Trump Acknowledges FCA, Toyota, Mazda
President’s Shout-Out to Automobile Makers
President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, spending at least a few seconds highlighting news pertaining to automobile companies’ investments in United States manufacturing, thanks (in part, at least) to U.S. tax reform legislation and other legislation. He referred to the progress as exciting, pointing out that companies want to be in the United States.
“Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States—something we haven’t seen for decades. Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama.”
The point of this is not to fact-check the speech. There’s plenty of that already. Rather, the point is to simply give some context to the Chrysler and Toyota/Mazda manufacturing plants referenced.
The first example he discussed relates directly to production of the Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced earlier in January 2018 that production of the next-generation Ram HD is relocating from the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, to the already-existing Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Warren, Michigan. This will happen in 2020. Modernizing the Warren Truck Assembly Plant will require a $1 billion investment on FCA’s part, and the plant’s increased volume will create 2,500 new jobs. The Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will also be produced at Warren. The Saltillo plant will shift focus to global commercial vehicles.
The second example President Trump mentioned regards a joint-venture manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama, announced in January 2018. The two partners involved—Mazda and Toyota—will equally fund the $1.6 billion investment and split the two production lines. Mazda will produce a crossover model (something new to the North American market) and Toyota will produce the Corolla, for a total of about 300,000 vehicles per year. Expect the creation of about 4,000 jobs, with production beginning by 2021.