Toyota is coming to the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, NC Department of Commerce confirms

Piedmont Triad News

(WGHP) — Toyota is coming to the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite.

The NC Department of Commerce’s Economic Investment Committee met by teleconference at 11 a.m. Monday and revealed that Toyota’s battery plant will be coming to the Triad.

Toyota is expected to bring 1,750 jobs with a median salary of $62,234. The company is expected to invest $1.272 billion by Dec. 31, 2026.

North Carolina beat out 9 other states that bid for this project, with a variety of incentives such as land, infrastructure and the usual stuff.

The state approved $271.4 million in total incentives Monday morning. $86.7 million of that was Job Development Investment Grants through the N.C. Department of Commerce.

There also were other line items that included $5 million for community colleges, though it didn’t say which ones or how that would be distributed.

Monday’s first hurdles were cleared as both the Greensboro City Council and the Randolph County Board of Commissioners approved incentives Monday morning.

The Randolph County Board of Commissioners met at 9 a.m. to take comment and vote on the transfer of ownership of county property and to grant economic development tax cuts for a project that matches those specified by the state.

Commissioners considered an agreement including a cash grant incentive and some reimbursement of building fees to the company. All motions were approved unanimously.

The mayors of Liberty and Asheboro, as well as several people connected to economic development in the area, spoke in favor of the deal.

One man spoke out against the deal over potential health concerns.

During the meeting, officials referred to this project as “Project Darwin” and did not mention the name of any businesses involved in the project.

At 10 a.m., the City of Greensboro unanimously approved a resolution to authorize non-assessment of water/sewer development fees. The city is contracted to provide those services for the megasite.

State and megasite officials are set to make the announcement at 2 p.m.

Toyota and Panasonic

Both Bloomberg News and Automotive News reported that Toyota has selected North Carolina, which was runner-up for the Toyota-Mazda manufacturing plant in 2018. Toyota said it would select its site by the end of the year.

Bloomberg News had included Panasonic as a partner in the announcement. Panasonic long had partnered with Tesla on its electric vehicles.

Toyota and Panasonic could open an electric-vehicle battery production facility on the megasite near Liberty.

Toyota Motor North America had announced Oct. 18 that it would build such a facility in the U.S. to begin production in 2025, starting with batteries for hybrid electric vehicles.

Toyota said it would invest $3.4 billion in the U.S. through 2030, including an initial plan to spend $1.3 billion for a plant that would employ 1,750.

Then last month the NC General Assembly approved $338 million toward improvements that could lure a manufacturer to the megasite and specified site development and incentives for a company that would invest at least $1 billion and create 1,750 jobs.

The state has budgeted to spend about $135 million this fiscal year for site development, $100 million to mitigate wetlands and $35 million for roadwork and more wetlands. There is $185 million to reimburse the manufacturer for costs of further site work, roadwork and wetlands mitigation as needed.

The megasite’s loss to Alabama in 2018 for the Toyota-Mazda facility largely has been attributed to Toyota’s having its supply chain in place there.

But John Boyd Jr., principal in the Boyd Company, a New Jersey-based site selection firm who works heavily in the electronic vehicle segment and in North Carolina, told WGHP last week that he “would not be surprised in the least for North Carolina to get this trophy project.

“Unlike prior misses [by North Carolina], the EV sector is one that requires just a small fraction of the supply of parts that go into a combustible engine,” Boyd said. “The supply chain is not nearly as much of a driver as it was on those near misses.”

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