Toyota delay a temporary blow to north Mississippi town - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Chip Washington

Toyota delay a temporary blow to north Mississippi town

BLUE SPRINGS, MS (WMC-TV) - Promises of new jobs are on hold in Blue Springs, Mississippi after an announcement that the start of production at Toyota's new assembly plant has been delayed indefinitely.

The plant was scheduled to open in late 2010.

Tuesday, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal Business Editor Dennis Seid said Toyota's announcement was a sign of the times.

"Based on economic conditions, the tanking auto market and all that, they're gonad finish the construction up and they're going to put on hold as to when they're going to roll out the first Prius," Seid said.

It was not good news to local residents, as the company planned to invest $1.3 billion dollars in the community and employ about 2000 workers.  In addition, seven suppliers were going to partner with the plant, adding up to 1400 additional jobs.

Seid said the delay was another blow to the community considering the recent job losses, including the possibility of losing Cooper Tire and 1,200 more jobs in January.

"I'm not saying that Toyota and the suppliers were going to absorb all those jobs in furniture, but it was sort of a light at the end of the tunnel type thing," Seid said. "It was a great opportunity for us."
Still, Seid and other residents are optimistic, hoping the nearly complete plant will open once the economy picks back up.  

"If they weren't committed to the project, they could have said, 'Well, were gonad walk away,' but the history of the company is they're not gonna do that," he said.

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