It was a combination business beginning and revival as Nissan unveiled the first vehicle made in Mississippi to the music of the Mississippi Mass Choir. Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn revealed that, in 1999 when the decision was made to build a plant in Mississippi, the company was in serious trouble.
"Our situation was bleak. Today, less than four years later, our company is at the top level of operating profitability among global auto makers with no debt, growing significantly in challenging markets and with stylish new products that are uniquely and positively Nissan," said Ghosn.
Vice-president of manufacturing, Dave Boyer, said times have changed for the company and the state of Mississippi. "Nissan has planted itself and a good part of our North American expansion squarely on a patch of fine Mississippi soil," Boyer said.
Gov. Ronnie Musgrove praised both the company and his state. "This facility, the people working in it and the products they're building are a result of a commitment to excellence," he said. "It's a commitment Nissan has proven over the years. It's a commitment Mississippi is proving as well."
"The value to our state cannot be described in dollars and cents alone," said Sen. Thad Cochran. "This investment restores our morale and our confidence to compete successfully for the best job opportunities in the world."
"We will never be the same again. We will be better for what is happening here today because we're going to produce some of the best automobiles made in all of the world," said Sen. Trent Lott.
Then at last the star of the show appeared, the 2004 Quest Minivan. The company president and the governor of Mississippi jumped in and were driven to the bottom of the ramp where the vehicle was surrounded by employees.