Gov. Ivey, economic team fly to Japan for auto executive meeting - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Gov. Ivey, economic team fly to Japan for auto executive meetings

File photo of Alabama's state airplane. (Source: WSFA 12 News) File photo of Alabama's state airplane. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Gov. Kay Ivey, seizing on the state's growing automotive sector, is in Japan this week for what her office calls "high-level meetings" with Toyota, Mazda, and Honda automotive executives.

Ivey and a small team of Alabama economic development specialists made the trek to Tokyo Tuesday. 

“The auto industry has been a key driver of economic growth in Alabama for two decades, and we want to make sure we’re positioned to see that growth accelerate in coming years,” Ivey said. “It’s important that we work closely with these automakers to ensure they thrive in Alabama, because that will bring more jobs and investment to the state.”

The Japan mission comes as the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA joint venture partnership is beginning to move forward with plans for a $1.6 billion assembly plant in Huntsville that will employ 4,000 people and spawn a significant network of suppliers.

The plant, announced in January, will be just 14 miles from a Toyota engine plant that has nearly 1,400 workers after multiple expansions.

Discussions with Mazda and Toyota executives will focus on moving the assembly plant project forward, according to Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, Greg Canfield. Additionally, they'll discuss how their supply chain can be filled leading up to a 2021 production launch.

“While we have a longstanding relationship with Toyota, we’re still developing bonds with Mazda, which has no manufacturing presence in the U.S.,” Canfield said. “We can use our extensive experience in assisting automakers expand their footprint to help the company build out a productive and efficient operation in Alabama.”

Ivey and Canfield will be joined in the Toyota/Mazda meetings by others including Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, who is also challenging Ivey for the GOP's nomination for governor in June, as well as Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson, Chip Cherry, president and CEO of the Huntsville/Madison Chamber of Commerce, and several other members of Ivey's staff. 

Also of priority is a meeting with Honda executives, though it won't include the Huntsville representatives. Honda owns a $2.6 billion assembly plant in Talladega County that employs 4,500 full-time workers. The company announced an $85 million expansion in early 2017.

Canfield said the meeting with Honda is meant to reinforce Alabama’s strong relationship with the automaker and discuss how the state can support the facility’s new leadership and future growth plans.

“Honda is a very important member of the Alabama automotive manufacturing family, and we’re committed to working closely with this great company as it pursues new levels of success at its Talladega County operation,” he said.

Before returning home Thursday, the Alabama delegation will visit the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to discuss Japan's business climate and trade developments with Ambassador Bill Hagerty. ?

Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Giuliani says White House wants briefing on classified info

    Giuliani says White House wants briefing on classified info

    Saturday, May 26 2018 1:13 AM EDT2018-05-26 05:13:07 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 3:54 PM EDT2018-05-26 19:54:47 GMT
    (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this May 5, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks in Washington.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this May 5, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks in Washington.
    President Donald Trump's legal team wants a briefing on the classified materials shared with lawmakers.More >>
    President Donald Trump's legal team wants a briefing on the classified materials shared with lawmakers.More >>
  • Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

    Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

    Friday, May 25 2018 12:22 AM EDT2018-05-25 04:22:30 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 3:54 PM EDT2018-05-26 19:54:25 GMT
    (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>
  • Civilians who shot restaurant gunman say they stopped threat

    Civilians who shot restaurant gunman say they stopped threat

    Saturday, May 26 2018 4:03 AM EDT2018-05-26 08:03:40 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 3:45 PM EDT2018-05-26 19:45:47 GMT
    (Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP). Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. A man armed with a pistol walked into Louie’s On The Lake restaurant at the dinner hour and ...(Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP). Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. A man armed with a pistol walked into Louie’s On The Lake restaurant at the dinner hour and ...
    Authorities say a Facebook page in which a man claims his television is possessed by the devil belongs to the man suspected of shooting three people at an Oklahoma City restaurant before being killed by two armed...More >>
    Authorities say a Facebook page in which a man claims his television is possessed by the devil belongs to the man suspected of shooting three people at an Oklahoma City restaurant before being killed by two armed bystanders.More >>
Powered by Frankly