Toyoda Gosei Plant

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No activity yet at Tier 1 supplier

 By Billy Davis

There is no activity at the Toyoda Gosei manufacturing plant in Batesville, though that is expected to change.

Any positive news from Toyoda will come after Japanese automaker Toyota announced June 17, after 18 months of delay, that it is resuming operation of its Blue Springs assembly plant.

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Construction of the plant resumed the same day as the announcement.

Blue Springs is located south of New Albany, in Union County, approximately an hour and a half drive from Panola County.

The coming assembly plant will be operating by the fall of 2011, 15 months away, with plans to assemble the Toyota Corolla, the company’s second best-selling car.

Employment is expected to reach 2,000 workers, with hourly pay starting at $15 an hour, an annual pay of more than $31,000.

Many more jobs are expected to be created by parts suppliers such as Toyoda Gosei, where employment is expected to reach 125 workers.

Toyoda Gosei had purchased the MOOG plant in the W.H. Harmon Industrial Park in anticipation of the Blue Springs plant. But its plans came to a screeching halt when Toyota, spooked by a shaky economy, halted its own ambitious plans for a Mississippi assembly plant.

Panola Partnership CEO Sonny Simmons said last week that he had not heard official word from Toyoda Gosei that it is ramping up the Batesville operation. But the company was aware of the coming good news and is likely reacting to it, he said.

Toyota had planned to manufacture the newer Prius model at Blue Springs before changing its plans for the Corolla.