Prospective auto plant: Factors that help to seal the deal

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The announcement about a new auto plant possibly opening in Mississippi is creating a lot of buzz. Local economic developers agree that a venture like this near the state line could greatly benefit both of the twin states. In response to this information, Newscenter 11 is examining some key components that are needed to land such projects.

"Ninety-nine percent of the time there is work that has been done for years and years and years to prepare for whatever looks like showed up overnight," says Bill Hannah, who is the head of the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation.

"We lean on the Mississippi Development Authority to pitch our state because if Mississippi gets cut, we're out," says Hannah.

According to the head of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association, at this time Toyota does not have a list of the sites that could be considered for the new $1.6 billion plant. The mission for the Meridian based Montgomery Institute is to upbuild people within East Mississippi and West Alabama. Bill Crawford is the organization's president. He says a project of this nature would help improve the quality of life for people within the twin states.

"Some of the things that industries look at is what are the schools like?" says Crawford. " What is the quality of life like? What is the crime rate? What's is the housing like? Those are all things that they look at. So, anything that you can do to improve things to do within the community, the quality of life within the community and infrastructure within the community, all of those things attribute to your ability to create and keep jobs."

District 71 Rep. A.J. McCampbell represents parts of West Alabama within the state legislature, and he agrees with Crawford.

"By looking at those things, they are trying to make sure that the people they bring into an area have the services provided that will allow their families to grow within a particular area."

Once built the new plant is expected to create at least 4,000 new jobs.
The plan is for Mazda to build new Crossover vehicles for the U.S. market at the site, and for Toyota to produce its Corolla model there.