Mississippi Welcomes First Toyota Direct Suppliers to State
In February 2007, Gov. Haley Barbour, along with Toyota officials, announced that the company had chosen a 1,700-acre site in Blue Springs, Miss., for its newest assembly plant. Scheduled to begin producing the Toyota Prius in 2010, the plant will provide 2,000 news jobs to the state, and it is already – indirectly – providing many more.
In July of 2007, Gov. Barbour announced plans for Toyota’s first supplier, Toyota Auto Body, Inc., to locate to North Mississippi, bringing even more jobs to the state. “During our economic development mission to Japan, the Mississippi delegation visited with Toyota Auto Body officials and came away impressed with the company’s high standards and interest in doing business in Mississippi,” said Gov. Barbour. “I am very pleased this outstanding company found a home in North Mississippi as a major supplier to Toyota.”
Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc., as the facility will be named, will create approximately 260 new jobs. The opening of the $180 million facility in Baldwin, Miss., is scheduled for 2010 to correspond with the opening of the Toyota plant. The facility will provide stamped parts, body weld parts and plastics to the plant.
In August, Gov. Barbour along with Junichi Yoshikawa, Chairman of the Toyota Boshoku Corp., and Kiyoshi “Nate” Furuta, Chairman and CEO of Toyota Boshoku America, announced that Toyota Boshoku will construct an $80 million, 341,000 square foot plant in Itawamba County, Miss. The plant, which will be situated on 40 acres in an industrial park off of Highway 78, will provide seats, door panels and carpet to the Toyota Prius plant. It is expected to create approximately 500 new jobs and will begin production in 2010.
“Toyota Boshoku America is a growing company, and we plan to meet customer demand by expanding our presence and sales in the U.S.,” said Furuta. “We look forward to becoming an active member of the Itawamba County community.”
In early 2008, three more suppliers announced their intentions to locate in the state. In February, PK USA announced that it would build a new stamping and welding assembly manufacturing plant in Senatobia, a $35 million investment that will create 150 jobs for Mississippians. PK USA’s new facility, which will serve Toyota and other Japanese automotive companies and suppliers in the state, becomes the third announced supplier for the Toyota plant currently under construction in Blue Springs.
The new facility, to be named PK USA-Senatobia Plant, will be the company’s second expansion in Mississippi since 2005, when PK USA opened an assembly operation in Canton. Production at the Senatobia plant is expected to begin by 2010. The plant marks PK USA’s eighth expansion since it began operations in the United States in 1989.
On March 3, Toyoda Gosei North American Group announced that it will build a new automotive parts manufacturing plant in Batesville, Miss. The plant is being established to develop interior and exterior plastic automotive components for Toyota. The plant will invest approximately $19 million into its establishment. By 2010, it plans to employ 120 employees with sales of $31 million. A project team from MDA helped Toyoda Gosei narrow down the Batesville site from contenders in at least two other states.
“The Mississippi Development Authority and Panola County Partnership have been a valuable resource for Toyoda Gosei as we begin building a positive relationship with the Batesville community,” said Takashi Matsuura, President of the Toyoda Gosei Company. “Both organizations also played a key role in introducing Toyoda Gosei to various incentive programs that include training for our future workforce.”
Most recently, Vuteq USA, Inc. announced that it will build its newest manufacturing facility to supply Toyota in the North Mississippi city of New Albany. The $31 million plant is expected to open in 2009, employing 130 people.
Vuteq will provide more than 50 injection molded parts as well as the assembly of the deckboard and assembly of various component parts to glass such as the back window and front and rear door windows. Vuteq will begin production to coincide with the start-up of the Toyota plant. Another 500 people are expected to be employed by Vuteq to work at the Toyota facility.
“Vuteq is proud to be a new member of the New Albany community. During the process of selecting sites, the overwhelming attribute of New Albany was its friendly and welcoming nature. All of us within the Vuteq organization are excited about the potential of this New Albany facility. We want to acknowledge the hard work of the Mississippi Development Authority and the members of the Union County Development Association. Without their efforts we would not be here today. Vuteq is looking forward to establishing long-term relationships within the community and surrounding area,” said Chris Spence, President, Vuteq Canada, Inc., who will oversee the new Mississippi facility.
Other announcements are expected as Toyota suppliers establish their locations to serve the plant’s late 2010 start of production.