NOT THIS TIME

Paul Fogleman,

Legislators Wednesday were poised to pass a bill approving some $1.5 billion in incentives to land an automobile manufacturing plant on a 1,800 acre site in Randolph County at the Guilford County line. But Tuesday night Toyota and Mazda announced the plant and 4,000 jobs will go to Huntsville, Alabama which offered less in incentives but which already has a supply chain for production of cars. The average salary of jobs will be $50,000, Toyota Mazda announced.

An executive with the site-selection team observed that Alabama now has 57,000 people employed in the automotive industries. “They did not want to be a pioneer in North Carolina,” he surmised.

The North Carolina effort was bipartisan with legislators and the office of Gov. Roy Cooper working hard to land the plant. The learning process will eventually lead to an automobile manufacturer on the site, the governor’s office insisted. Legislators reiterated support for manufacturing clusters in North Carolina.

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