Last week, Toyota and Mazda announced plans to partner on a $1.6 billion automotive manufacturing plant in the U.S. According to the Japanese automakers, the plant, which could produce up to 300,000 Corollas and cross-over Mazdas per year, could mean up to 4,000 new jobs.
After Foxconn settled in Wisconsin, and may do some business in Michigan, the news from Toyota and Mazda has many states clamoring for the automotive business.
According to the Associated Press, Tennessee's Governor Bill Haslam said, "There will be a lot of people fighting hard for that plant and we intend to be at the lead."
Tennessee is already home to General Motors, Nissan, and Volkswagen plants, but they may have some stiff competition from their neighbors to the north.
Kentucky's governor Matt Bevin was speaking to an automotive industry group this week when he said that he plans "to be on that [deal] like white on rice."
Bevin was speaking at the Automotive Industry Association's annual conference in Lexington. According to Bevin, he has a personal relationship with Toyota president Akio Toyoda.
The plant is scheduled to begin operations by 2021, and it is likely that both states will be in contention due to their proximity to Mississippi. Toyota already has a Corolla plant in Mississippi, and the company would likely try to stay close to parts supply companies.
Toyota was previously planning to make Corollas in Mexico, but have changed directions after reassessing the market.