The alliance announcement by the two Japanese automakers quickly drew praise from President Donald Trump, who had criticized Toyota's Mexican investment in January. Fred Katayama reports.
Toyota's announcement Friday that it'll build an auto plant in the U.S. with rival Mazda Motor drew President Donald Trump's quick praise. Trump, who had threatened Toyota with a border tax in January for its investment in a Mexican plant, tweeted today, "A great investment in American manufacturing!" The two companies plan to take investment stakes in each other. And they will build a $1.6 billion plant that will employ 4,000 people to produce 300,000 vehicles a year. The announcement came on the same day as the U.S' closely watched employment report. Reuters' Japan bureau chief William Mallard: SOUNDBITE: WILLIAM MALLARD, TOKYO BUREAU CHIEF, REUTERS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They're both looking to expand in an incredibly important market, and this is a time when politically, it may be a good idea to do just that." The investment gets Mazda a U.S. production base. Toyota gets access to Mazda's low emission gas engine technology. Both companies hope the move will help them catch up with their rivals in electric vehicle technology. Mazda president Masamichi Kogai: SOUNDBITE: MASAMICHI KOGAI, PRESIDENT, MAZDA MOTOR, (ENGLISH DUBBING OVER JAPANESE) SAYING: "By competing and collaborating with Toyota, we're expecting to develop basic technologies of electric vehicles by setting goals high." No word yet, however, on where they will build the plant.