Newly-formed Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi (YTMM, a manufacturing subsidiary of Yokohama Tire Corporation) officially broke ground on its new commercial truck tire manufacturing plant in West Point, Mississippi (149 miles from Jackson, the state capital), which is slated to begin operations in October 2015. The festive event was attended by President and Representative Director of The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., Hikomitsu Noji, Yokohama executives, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, numerous state officials and more than 350 guests.
"This is a great day for Yokohama, Mississippi and the community of West Point," said YTMM's President Tadaharu Yamamoto. "As we move forward with construction of our new tire-making facility, I'd like to personally thank Gov. Bryant, his staff and all the people in Mississippi for their support on this incredible endeavor. There's no question we made the right choice coming to Mississippi with this project."
Yokohama is making an initial $300 million investment in the facility with approximately 500 jobs expected to be created at first phase. The roughly 1-million-square-foot factory, to be constructed on more than 500 acres of land, will include production, warehousing and operations facilities, and will produce up to one million tires annually.
"Today is a very exciting day as Yokohama prepares to begin construction of its very first U.S. manufacturing facility to be built from the ground up," said Gov. Bryant. "Just five short months ago, the company announced its plans to locate these operations in West Point, and I am grateful to the Yokohama team and those at the state and local levels for working so quickly to get this project underway. I look forward to visiting again in the near future as we celebrate the grand opening of Yokohama's tire manufacturing plant and once again prove to the world that Mississippi is a great place for business."
The groundbreaking ceremony capped an event-filled weekend for Yokohama. The company formally introduced Yamamoto as president of YTMM and discussed its recently-opened operational headquarters in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park in Starkville, Mississippi. It houses several business functions, including administrative, human resources, information management and planning.