SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES
North Carolina went to great lengths to try to land “Project New World,” as the deal was known. Cooper, Copeland and other state officials traveled more than once to Japan after Toyota and Mazda announced last August they wanted to put a facility in the U.S. Toyota-Mazda representatives also visited this state. North Carolina was soon on a short list of 11 states that was then narrowed to just two.
Copeland said the companies quickly focused on the Randolph County megasite near Greensboro as the best location in North Carolina.
Randolph County has nearly 1,900 acres set aside but it lacks the proximity to the supply chain that the car companies need. Huntsville on the other hand, is central to a multistate corridor of automotive manufacturing and supplying, and home to a Toyota engine factory. Alabama employs some 57,000 people in the automotive industry and is the site of three other auto assembly plants: Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Hyundai.
Toyota-Mazda say they will hire 4,000 workers and invest $1.6 billion at the plant over several years. They plan to use the new plant to make 300,000 Toyota Corollas and Mazda crossovers a year, using the Corolla frame to build electric cars.
Copeland said North Carolina knew from the beginning the supply chain would be a challenge but thought that because the companies were building electric vehicles it would not be as reliant on its old supply chain. Copeland said the thinking was that new supply chains would develop here to support the new technology Toyota needed. The Triangle’s strong tech industry and research universities also were seen as a plus.
Copeland said North Carolina shouldn’t be discouraged from continuing to pursue a major auto manufacturer, even though one has eluded it for many years. He said the process with Toyota-Mazda, though disappointing, puts the state in a better position for future competition in the global marketplace.
It also close to the Burlington SC.. Topping off my first Tesla. Student's from the West Wilkes High School on the way to meet up with other teams from VA, ,NC, and FL. to compete in EV car's and pickup's they had built... The girl drove the Miata and the guy an S10. The Miata had Leaf bats. The S10 12V acid.