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Tire plant to open in north Mississippi

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Updated: 4/29/2013 7:00 pm
WEST POINT, Miss. (WTVA) -- "I'm proud to announce that Yokohama Tire is locating this commercial tire plant manufacturing facility to here in West Point, Mississippi."

That very announcement by Governor Phil Bryant has plenty of people excited, especially with new jobs in a part of the state that's been dealing with high unemployment for years.

"We decided to here because we needed more tires especially with tires under truck the U.S. market we needed more tires. We can not supply enough tires that's one of the big reason we need to make talking tire here and supply here," said Hikomitsu Noji, CEO Yokohama Tire.

The new facility will have the capacity to produce one million tires a year.

"We believe in getting up early in the morning, putting in a hard days work for value. Observing the work ethic I think that they like the job skills that we have and work ethic and I think they're here because of that," stated U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. 

Construction is expected to start shortly after the groundbreaking scheduled for some time this summer. The first tire is expected to roll-off the assembly line in September or October in the year 2015.

"Those that have had the bad luck now have reason to believe," said Joe Max Higgins, Jr. CEO of the LINK. "I think you're going to see them pull themselves up from the bootstraps, roll their sleeves up. They're going to get this plant built and they're going to make some of the best employees Yokohama can ever ask for."

The first phase of the plant is set to provide 500 jobs, and there are plans for three other phases which translates to job opportunities for potentially 2,000 people.

"The only people that will not be advantaged by this will be the ones who choose not too," stated Scott Ross, mayor of West Point.

State officials say the door opens for other possibilities with Yokohama being the first of its kind to move in the area. 

"This may be the first of automobile suppliers in the part," adds Bryant. "We're hoping to grow it in the future as well."

The plant will serve as Yokohama's first United States facility built from the ground up.

It will sit on a 500 acre site north of the city near Highway 45.

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