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Rochelle and DeKalb in the Running for Automaker Plant

Illinois is among 11 states in the running for a manufacturing plant that Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda want to build.  And Rochelle and DeKalb are apparently the two cities in the state that are being considered.  Jason Anderson, the Director of The Greater Rochelle Economic Development Corporation, says he has heard that Illinois is one of 11 states, but no one has said anything to him about the possibility of them building in Rochelle.  But, Anderson said Rochelle is ready for this. 

GREDCO has an option to buy 1,000 acres of farmland near the interchange of interstates 39 and 88 which would accommodate a major employer.  Anderson says the city has been building roads and rail and have the infrastructure for this if it were to happen. 

State Representative Tom Demmer, said in a Chicago Tribune story recently that he was aware that Illinois is pursuing a project and believes it to be the Toyota-Mazda project.

Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. announced Friday they've established a joint venture, with plans to invest $1.6 billion on a U.S. plant. The news release, which said the firms would split the cost, did not name any potential locations for the facility.

The Wall Street Journal reported that three other Midwestern states…Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan, as well as several southern states are in the running.

Toyota and Mazda representatives declined to comment. The offices of Gov. Bruce Rauner, the Department of Commerce and Intersect Illinois declined to comment on whether Illinois is pursuing the deal.

The auto plant is expected to require at least 1,000 acres, an enormous site that limits the field of municipalities in the running. Both DeKalb and Rochelle have available sites near interstates and rail lines.

The new U.S. auto plant will have as many as 4,000 workers. The U.S. plant is expected to be open by 2021, and would have a capacity of 300,000 vehicles annually.




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