Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Posted: 2/27/2007 4:33:23 AM EST
Link

Here comes Toyota

2/27/2007 5:44:28 AM
Daily Journal


By Dennis Seid
Daily Journal

TUPELO - Two years ago, when the Wellspring Project got its megasite designation, supporters billed it as the "center of the automotive universe."

That moniker couldn't be more fitting today.

Japanese automaker Toyota will announce this morning that it is building an $829 million manufacturing plant on the 1,700-acre site, which is adjacent to U.S. Highway 78 near the Blue Springs interchange 10 miles west of Tupelo.

Gov. Haley Barbour has scheduled a "major economic development" announcement at Tupelo High School this morning. He'll be joined by Sen. Trent Lott, Rep. Roger Wicker, state and local officials and Toyota representatives.

And a Toyota vehicle - likely the SUV that will be built here - will be unveiled during the announcement.

While it was a Japanese newspaper that initially broke the news on Monday, other sources close to the matter confirmed that the automaker will be selecting the site, which has been developed and promoted by the PUL Alliance, comprising Pontotoc, Union and Lee counties.

The Toyota facility, to become operational by 2009, will have production capacity of 150,000 vehicles and employ some 2,000 workers. An additional 2,000 spinoff jobs also could be created as automotive suppliers are attracted to the area.

It has been a whirlwind recruitment drive for Toyota, which had been mum on where it was putting its eighth North American manufacturing plant.

Even as recent reports surfaced that Toyota had narrowed its choices to Marion, Ark., and Chattanooga, Tenn., the world's No. 2 automaker was steadily being courted by Mississippi officials, sources say.

A spokeswoman for the Mississippi Development Authority, citing agency directives, said she could not comment on the announcement, and Barbour's office also declined comment.

Still, Toyota's selection of Wellspring is no surprise for Mike Randle, editor of the Southern Business & Development magazine and its accompanying Web site, southernautocorridor.com.

"We had Tupelo as one of the two sites Toyota was looking at," Randle said.

He speculated that the site was given a major boost when Alabama Gov. Bob Riley threw his support behind Mississippi's efforts to get Toyota. The reason for that, Randle said, was that Barbour, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. senators for both states signed letters of support for Alabama's drive to land a $2.9 billion steel-making plant being built by ThyssenKrupp. Louisiana also is recruiting to get the plant.

Toyota's selection of Wellspring is the culmination of years of work - and hope - by PUL members who desperately wanted to land a major, growing industry. While the $1.4 billion furniture industry is the largest in Northeast Mississippi and employs some 21,000 workers, those numbers have shrunk as manufacturers continue to source more from overseas, even shutting down operations.

Officials in 2003 persuaded some 21 landowners in the area to sign 3-year options on some 1,700 acres. In January 2005, the Tennessee Valley Authority, through a private consulting firm, certified it as a "megasite," meaning it was suitable for a large industrial manufacturer - such as an auto maker. It was then that the site was dubbed the "Wellspring Project."

David Rumbarger, president and CEO of the Tupelo-based Community Development Foundation - which marketed the site - said at the time that the site was aptly named because "a wellspring is defined as a source of abundant and continuous supply.

"Our Wellspring Project," he predicted, "is the site of abundant and continuous success."

That success could translate into hundreds of millions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs.

The plant at Wellspring would be Mississippi's second automotive manufacturing facility. Nissan opened its $1.4 billion Canton plant in 2003.

And as some suppliers have located near Nissan, suppliers for Toyota would likely build near the Wellspring site.

That could have great impact on Northeast Mississippi, which has seen its share of manufacturing closings in recent months.

Tim Climer, president of the West Point/Clay County Community Growth Alliance, said the Toyota announcement would be a spark for the region. West Point faces the layoff of 1,200 workers from the Bryan Foods plant by the end of March.

"We're very happy about the news and we're hopeful of what kind of spark this could mean for all of us," he said.

Tupelo is already home to a tier one automotive supplier, Martinrea Fabco, which sends stamped metal parts to Nissan's plants in Canton and Smyrna, Tenn.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 4:36:11 AM EST
Yep

phone been ringing off the hook since about 4 o'clock yesterday.

I am eating a bunch of crow because I honestly didn't believe it would happen.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 4:42:08 AM EST
Hey Dedfella, What do you expect that this will do to the area. I grew up in Tupelo, but am off at school now. I have always considered coming back and setting up a practice when I get out of Optometry school, but I have recently began to consider other places but this may change things because this will probably boost an already growing community.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 4:48:24 AM EST

Originally Posted By jmhat98:
Hey Dedfella, What do you expect that this will do to the area. I grew up in Tupelo, but am off at school now. I have always considered coming back and setting up a practice when I get out of Optometry school, but I have recently began to consider other places but this may change things because this will probably boost an already growing community.



Hate to say it but the biggest plus I see is it will stop the bleeding from loss of furniture jobs and the Bryan shutdown, mentioned in the article.

I don't believe it will stop there though. This has the potential to catapult NE Ms by an order of magnitude.

Looking at the Nissan model in Canton, the biggest boon could be the support infrastructure that will hopefully be needed in the surrounding area.

At this point it is hard to see any negatves. Come on back, we would love to have you.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 4:51:41 AM EST
Heard it on the local news this A.M., going for the non-union labor.
Damn smart huh?
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 4:54:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/27/2007 4:55:38 AM EST by Cypher214]
Hot-damn! That's good news!

I just so happen to work for a company that could greatly benefit from this...
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 4:59:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By Cypher214:
Hot-damn! That's good news!

I just so happen to work for a company that could greatly benefit from this...



me too

do we work for competing companies?
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:01:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By dedfella:

Originally Posted By Cypher214:
Hot-damn! That's good news!

I just so happen to work for a company that could greatly benefit from this...



me too

do we work for competing companies?


Does the name Burkhalter mean anything to you?
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:06:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By Cypher214:

Originally Posted By dedfella:

Originally Posted By Cypher214:
Hot-damn! That's good news!

I just so happen to work for a company that could greatly benefit from this...



me too

do we work for competing companies?


Does the name Burkhalter mean anything to you?


Yes but in a good way. Rock on. My cranes move scrap, yours could move my cranes.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:06:44 AM EST
So, Ford is in a major dispute with a key supplier (Navistar). They are in the process of laying off over 30,000 people. Chrysler recently announced several plant closures. GM has closed multiple plants. Nissan is closing a plant.

Meanwhile, Toyota announces another new plant. There must really be something to that whole Toyota Production System thing.

Those of you who think you will quickly jump into being a Toyota supplier: Not so fast. It takes a long time to get in with Toyota. But once you are in, you are in for the long haul.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:09:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By bigthicket:
Heard it on the local news this A.M., going for the non-union labor.
Damn smart huh?


yep, that's one of the reasons they passed up on a Crockett County site here in TN.

Too much Union activity nearby (Goodyear in Union City) in such a rural area


The USW needs to take a long walk off a short pier.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:11:12 AM EST
Better to be invaded by Toyota than Islam or Mexico
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:15:38 AM EST

Originally Posted By dedfella:

Originally Posted By Cypher214:

Originally Posted By dedfella:

Originally Posted By Cypher214:
Hot-damn! That's good news!

I just so happen to work for a company that could greatly benefit from this...



me too

do we work for competing companies?


Does the name Burkhalter mean anything to you?


Yes but in a good way. Rock on. My cranes move scrap, yours could move my cranes.


Yeah... we move big stuff sometimes...









Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:16:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By PAEBR332:
So, Ford is in a major dispute with a key supplier (Navistar). They are in the process of laying off over 30,000 people. Chrysler recently announced several plant closures. GM has closed multiple plants. Nissan is closing a plant.

Meanwhile, Toyota announces another new plant. There must really be something to that whole Toyota Production System thing.

Those of you who think you will quickly jump into being a Toyota supplier: Not so fast. It takes a long time to get in with Toyota. But once you are in, you are in for the long haul.


Supplier... nah... we just want to help build the plant.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:18:44 AM EST

Originally Posted By Cypher214:

Originally Posted By PAEBR332:
So, Ford is in a major dispute with a key supplier (Navistar). They are in the process of laying off over 30,000 people. Chrysler recently announced several plant closures. GM has closed multiple plants. Nissan is closing a plant.

Meanwhile, Toyota announces another new plant. There must really be something to that whole Toyota Production System thing.

Those of you who think you will quickly jump into being a Toyota supplier: Not so fast. It takes a long time to get in with Toyota. But once you are in, you are in for the long haul.


Supplier... nah... we just want to help build the plant.


In that case... ROCK ON!
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:25:59 AM EST
cool! I love Toyotas!

<--------------
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:27:21 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:32:17 AM EST

Originally Posted By PAEBR332:
So, Ford is in a major dispute with a key supplier (Navistar). They are in the process of laying off over 30,000 people. Chrysler recently announced several plant closures. GM has closed multiple plants. Nissan is closing a plant.

Meanwhile, Toyota announces another new plant. There must really be something to that whole Toyota Production System thing.

Those of you who think you will quickly jump into being a Toyota supplier: Not so fast. It takes a long time to get in with Toyota. But once you are in, you are in for the long haul.


I just want to buy/broker the scrap. For a small profit.
Top Top