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Toyota Expands in Lee County

Toyota Expands in Lee County
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Worker on assembly line at Toyota plant in Blue Springs, MS
AP Photo

The Toyota plant in northeast Mississippi is expanding. As MPB's Mark Rigsby reports, the international car company is investing more money and creating more jobs at its facility in Lee County.

It's a $170 million investment by Toyota Mississippi to expand production in Blue Springs, just outside of Tupelo. The company will add 400 new jobs over the next 12 months. David Rumbarger is CEO of the Community Development Foundation. He says Toyota has a great impact on the local economy.

"The plant alone has around 2,000, 2,200 people that are either contractors or directly working for Toyota. Then, there's another 2,000 in the manufacturing sector supporting the plant. It has a tremendous economic impact, well over 150 to 200 million dollars in payroll alone."

The expansion will allow the plant to add the new Corolla hatchback to the assembly line, starting at the beginning of 2019. Once in full operation, the facility will produce 180,000 cars each year. Rumbarger says the new investment and adding more workers make a statement about the job well done by the plant's employees.

"It solidifies this area's piece of the automobile complex in the south. I think that's really significant. It just puts us in the driver's seat in the future for jobs in the manufacturing sector for automotive."

Toyota's total investment in Blue Springs is now more than $1,000,000,000 dollars.