Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Investing a state heavily in auto industry not always best thing, as Mississippi, Memphis now know from disappointing Toyota announcement

The Memphis Commercial-Appeals gave a warning to economic development officials at the state Capitol in Nashville that putting so many of the state's economic eggs in the auto industry basket is not wise.

The city has been disappointed by a recent announcement connected to car manufacturers outside of the begging Big 3 automakers:

OXFORD, Miss. -- Toyota will delay work at its planned Blue Springs, Miss., plant until the worldwide economic slowdown improves and buyers return to its showrooms, the company said Monday.

Toyota had planned to build the hybrid Prius at the plant under construction in Blue Springs, northwest of Tupelo, beginning in late 2009 or 2010. The company will finish construction, which is about 90 percent complete, but will not go further -- such as installing production equipment -- until economic conditions improve, Toyota said in a statement.

Work progresses at the new Toyota plant under construction south of Blue Springs, Miss., but the automaker has put plans for starting production at the plant on hold.

"Due to the uncertainty of the market, it is impossible to say at this time when production will begin," the company statement said.

About 100 people who had already been hired will keep their jobs.

Would Volkswagen do the same to Tennessee in Chattanooga with its yet to be constructed auto plant? As Gov. Sarah Palin says, "you betcha."

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