Mazda Toyota undertakes the construction of its new $1.6bn Alabama plant
Located in Huntsville, Alabama, Mazda Toyota has launched its jointly owned-and-operated automotive production plant which will have the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles per year. Set to complete by 2021, the partnership will enable the creation of 4,000 new jobs in the region, with the $1.6bn investment split between the two companies.
The plant will build Toyota’s Corolla, whose all-new 2020 model was unveiled yesterday in California, and Mazda’s yet-to-be revealed crossover model.
“We are proud to be here with Toyota, with whom we share the bond of pride in manufacturing,” said Kiyotaka Shobuda, Mazda’s Senior Managing Executive Officer. “We are proud to be breaking ground on a new ‘home’ here in Huntsville – a city that believes in the possibilities of technology and manufacturing, and has striven to realize mankind’s greatest dream.”
The alliance will assure competitiveness in manufacturing, allowing both automakers to respond quickly to market changes and helping to ensure sustainable growth toward the future of mobility.
“It is extremely special to have a partner like Mazda to team up with not only to make the highest-quality cars, but also to create a plant that team members are proud to call their own,” commented Jim Lentz, Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Motor North America.
“As we’ve seen at our Huntsville engine plant, Alabamians are a proud, talented, hard-working group. We are excited to continue our deep investment in the US and Alabama and see nothing but a bright future.”
- Samsung set to invest $22bn in 5G networking and AI to achieve 20% market share by 2020
- Ford, Walmart and Postmates collaborate to provide automated vehicle delivery
- Boeing is set to launch a solar autonomous aircraft
As part of its ground-breaking, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing US (MTMUS) donated $750,000 to support STEM-related programmes that will encourage and motivate students to pursue a career in the advanced manufacturing field. With 4,000 jobs to fill, the organisation is committed to investing in developing its future workforce in collaboration with local educators and economic development partners. The donation includes:
- $500,000 to the Huntsville Madison County Chamber Foundation to launch a new career exploration online platform that will help highlight careers in manufacturing to students, build skills and connect job seekers to opportunities. The goal is to work with local school systems and promote this tool as a resource for career coaches and teachers.
- $250,000 to be split between six school districts in Madison County, Limestone County and Morgan County. Support is aimed at STEM or career technical programmes that align with advanced manufacturing. The schools include:
'Huntsville City Schools
Madison County Schools
Madison City Schools
Limestone County Schools
Decatur City Schools
Morgan County Schools
In addition, the Mazda Foundation (USA), Inc. donated:
- $50,000 to Boys & Girls Club of North Alabama
- $50,000 to Food Bank of North Alabama
- $20,000 to Greater Huntsville Humane Society
Alabama remains one of the top 10 producers of cars and trucks in the US, where the new manufacturing facility will become the fourth to open in Alabama since the late 90s.
"This project is really a game-changer in advanced manufacturing for us, especially the commercial sector, not only because of the name recognition but (Mazda-Toyota) are forming a new joint venture. They’re looking at new ways of doing things, and we get to be on the forefront of that,” stated Lucia Cape, Senior Vice President of economic development, Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce.
“That puts us on a national and international stage and, because of the job numbers and the skill sets, we are going to step up our workforce development efforts to meet the challenge, which will open us up for future growth,”
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.