JACKSON, Miss.—It's official: the Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. will be building a $300 million commercial truck tire plant in West Point, Miss.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Hikomitsu Noji, Yokohama Tire Corp. president, signed the official documents on Monday after the Mississippi legislature overwhelming approved a package of economic incentives worth a reported $130 million.
The project initially will result in 500 jobs, according to Bryant, who oversaw efforts to attract Yokohama to the state and called the state legislature into extraordinary session to consider the incentives package.
The project could mean up to 2,000 jobs longer term, Bryant said, and will have a positive impact on the state's economy for years to come. Yokohama said the factory's capacity would be 1 million units a year in the first phase and up to 4 million longer-term.
The Mississippi House voted 117-2 and the Senate unanimously on April 26 to approve the measure, according to local media. The package covered amendments to a 14 sections of the Mississippi Code of 1972.
Noji, along with Gov. Bryant and officials from the state, participated in the signing ceremony at the West Point Ritz, near the site of the future company plant, about 149 miles from Jackson, the state capitol.
"This is a historic day for Yokohama," said Noji, a representative of Yokohama's parent company in Japan. "Since our entry into the U.S. market over 40 years ago, along with the subsequent acquisition of our plant in Salem, Virginia in the 1980s, Yokohama has been on a continual growth.
"Now we will build a factory in the United States for the first time. It re-affirms our commitment to the North American market and to the continued mutual success of Yokohama and its business partner—our dealers."
The plant will be built on more than 500 acres. Construction is expected to begin in September and completed two years later.