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A decade after Mazda's cars disappeared from Ford Motor's factory floors in Michigan, the Japanese automaker is once again building in the United States — this time with compatriot Toyota.

When the first Mazda CX-50 crossovers rolled off the assembly line at the joint Alabama plant in January, they were packed with efficiencies hammered out by the two automakers, both known for their cost-cutting smarts and manufacturing prowess.

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