Gov. Phil Bryant, executives from Yokohama Tire Corporation and state and local officials gathered today in West Point, Miss., to break ground on Yokohama's first ground-up manufacturing facility in the United States. The company will manufacture commercial truck tires at the plant and had announced in April of this year that it would locate operations in West Point.
The first phase of the project represents a $300 million investment by Yokohama and will create 500 new jobs. Potential future expansions are projected to increase the company's investment to more than $1 billion and to raise employment from 500 to 2,000 jobs.
"Today is a very exciting day as Yokohama prepares to begin construction of its very first U.S. manufacturing facility to be built from the ground up. Just five short months ago, the company announced its plans to locate these operations in West Point, and I am grateful to the Yokohama team, to the Mississippi Legislature and to those at the state and local levels for working so quickly to get this project underway," Gov. Bryant said. "I look forward to visiting again in the near future as we celebrate the grand opening of Yokohama's tire manufacturing plant and once again prove to the world that Mississippi is a great place for business."
"This is a great day for Yokohama, Mississippi and the community of West Point," said Tadaharu Yamamoto, president of Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi, LLC (YTMM). "As we move forward with construction of our new tire-making facility, I'd like to personally thank Governor Bryant, his staff and all the people in Mississippi for their support on this incredible endeavor. There's no question we made the right choice coming to Mississippi with this project."
In April, the Mississippi Legislature approved a total of $130 million in incentives to assist with the project, $70 million of which was allotted for the initial phase of the project. Part of the funding was used toward the purchase of the 500-acre site for the facility, and the remainder is being used for site preparation, infrastructure needs and workforce training.
"Today's groundbreaking is symbolic in that Yokohama is taking the next step in building a stronger community and creating a significant number of jobs for the area's workers," said Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Brent Christensen. "MDA thanks the Mississippi Legislature, our local partners and our utility partners, as well as the team at the Appalachian Regional Commission, for their unwavering commitment to this project, and we congratulate them and the Yokohama Team on this milestone event."
"The Golden Triangle is happy to add a manufacturer with the reputation and credentials of Yokohama. West Point and Clay County look forward to working towards the full build-out of what we expect to be the world's preeminent tire plant," said Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins. "This project is a testament to team work!"
Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company's complete product line includes tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications.