Plant site of major Toyota supplier will be Baldwyn

Published 4:36 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2007

An industrial park at Baldwyn has been selected as the site of a $200 million plant that will supply parts to Toyota’s new automotive manufacturing facility under construction in north Mississippi.

Officials announced in July that Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd., would locate its plant somewhere near the new Toyota production facility. The site, roughly 20-25 miles from the automotive plant, was announced Tuesday.

“We look forward to a long, fruitful relationship with our newest corporate citizen and share the excitement generated by the creation of 400 new jobs that will enhance the economy of North Mississippi and the state as a whole,” said Gov. Haley Barbour, who is touting job creation as he seeks re-election this fall.

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Toyota Auto Body’s 100-plus acre facility will operate under the name Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc. It will provide stamped parts, body weld parts and plastic parts to the Toyota plant. The Toyota plant and the supplier plant are both expected to open in 2010.

Toyota announced in February that it would invest $1.3 billion in its eighth North American manufacturing facility. The plant in Blue Springs will make the Highlander SUV and is expected to employ 2,000 when in full production.

Lee County officials recently abandoned a quarter-mile strip of County Road 2790 to prepare for a Mississippi Development Authority road construction grant, according to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

County Administrator Ronnie Bell said the move was needed for an unnamed “economic development project” in the industrial park.

Toyota Auto Body, based in Kariya-city, Japan, is part of the Toyota Group of Companies. TAB assembles various vehicles for Toyota, including the Prius, Land Cruiser and Lexus LX470. It has nearly 13,500 employees globally.

In August, Toyota Boshoku America announced construction of an $80 million, 500-worker plant near the Dorsey community in Itawamba County. The plant will provide seats, door panels and carpet for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi.