Tower and its History

Tower Automotive is a major manufacturer of bodies and frames for cars and trucks for almost every automaker in the world, but it filed for bankruptcy in February 2005.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection then and has just had a plan for restructuring approved by a federal bankruptcy judge.

The Meridian plant is apparently a big part of that plan. Local officials say they're not concerned about the recent financial problems.

"They have plenty of money available cash wise; they had financial trouble in other areas," said Joe Norwood, president of the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors. "The company, Lauderdale County and Meridian, just happened to be a perfect fit for them."

Tower employs about 12,000 people worldwide. It also has another plant in Mississippi, in Madison County.

The company recently won a contract to build for bodies for Ford Motor Company and that is apparently what they'll be doing at the Meridian plant.

Mayor John Robert Smith said he's confident Tower will be a good longtime economic partner in this area.

"For Tower to make this investment in our hometown, and the investment the city and the county have made in them, Tower's going to be a tremendous corporate citizen," said Smith.

City officials say they hope this will be the first of many auto-related manufacturers that will eventually find their way to Meridian.

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