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Yokohama in West Point
Yokohama in West Point
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Updated: 4/29/2013 2:43 pm
WEST POINT, Miss. (WTVA) — Governor Phil Bryant and executives from Yokohama Tire Corporation officially announced Monday the company would locate a commercial truck tire plant in West Point, Miss.

Yokohama will invest $300 million in the initial project phase, with future expansions potentially increasing the company’s investment to more than $1 billion.

Yokohama expects to create 500 new jobs. Potential future expansions are expected to bring total employment at the plant up to 2,000 jobs.

Expected to be operational by October 2015, the new facility will have the capacity to produce one million tires per year.

“Yokohama has been in business for more than 90 years, making some of the most durable tires in the market,” Gov. Bryant said. “Now, the company is expanding that same quality of manufacturing to Mississippi. With the potential of creating 2,000 jobs, this project speaks not only to our commitment to a quality workforce but an environment for growth and expansion. I appreciate Yokohama and specifically CEO Hikomitsu Noji for their support of Mississippi and our citizens.”

“This is an historic day for Yokohama,” said Hikomitsu Noji, YTC’s chief executive officer, president and representative director of the Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd., YTC’s parent company in Japan. “The building of a new plant in the U.S. confirms our commitment to the North American marketplace. I’d like to thank Governor Phil Bryant and the State of Mississippi for their fortitude in bringing this to fruition.”

Gov. Bryant called the Legislature into special session on April 26 to vote on an incentive package in support of the project.

Lawmakers approved $70 million for the initial project and total bonding capacity up to $130 million for future expansions at the facility.

State assistance includes funding for the purchase of the land where Yokohama’s facility will be located and for site preparation, infrastructure improvements and workforce training.

Clay County, West Point, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Atmos Energy provided assistance for the project, as well.

“We are grateful that Yokohama Tire Corporation has placed its confidence in our strong business climate and its trust in our capable, dedicated workforce, and I am certain those two assets will help ensure the company thrives in West Point,” said Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Brent Christensen. “I thank our partners in West Point, Clay County and the Golden Triangle Development LINK, along with our utility partners and colleagues at the Appalachian Regional Commission, who worked so diligently to make this project possible. This is a great day for the state of Mississippi.”

The West Point facility, the company’s first U.S. facility to be built from the ground up, will be located on a 500-acre site with construction slated to begin in September of this year.

Yokohama also has operations in Salem, Va., where the company manufactures consumer passenger car and light truck tires.

Additional details regarding the company’s construction timeline and hiring processes will be made available online at http://yokohamams.org/.
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