Toyota has abandoned plans to build Corolla cars at a new joint assembly plant it is building with Mazda (Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA – MTMUS) in Alabama and will instead build a new crossover there.
Toyota said the shift is in response to ‘changing market demands and a growing consumer appetite for light trucks and SUVs which are achieving record sales, including Toyota’s best-selling RAV4’.
The company also said that more details related to the future SUV will be released at a later date. Corolla production continues at Toyota’s Blue Springs, Miss. plant.
Toyota also said that construction of MTMUS in Huntsville, Alabama, remains on schedule, with the start of production expected to begin in 2021. Up to 4,000 new jobs will be created and hiring is underway.
In August 2017, Toyota and Mazda announced a collaboration to establish MTMUS, a USD1.6bn joint venture that will assemble up to 300,000 vehicles annually – split 50/50 between the two partners, with a Mazda SUV also planned to be built there.