State Looking Hard to Auto Industry to Develop the Delta - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Marion, AR

State Looking Hard to Auto Industry to Develop the Delta

OCTOBER 27, 2004 - Posted at 4:20 p.m. CDT


MARION, AR - Arkansas is a hole in an emerging Southern automobile corridor that includes plants in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

Marion's economic development director hopes to plug that gap soon with an assembly plant.  Kay Brockwell says Marion is an ideal location because it is near Memphis, has rail service and two major interstates run nearby.

Japanese truck maker Hino recently announced plans to build a parts plant at Marion.  The company has said a full assembly plant could follow.

Arkansas' first serious effort at landing an automobile plant came in 2002 when the state touted the Marion site for a Toyota truck and SUV plant.  Arkansas lost out, but its bid got other manufacturers interested in the state.

The Arkansas Delta is already seeing benefits from the automobile industry.  Denso Corporation is building an auto parts plant at Osceola and will employ about 500 people.  Eakas Corporation, a subsidiary of a Japanese company, has announced plans to build a Wynne factory that will eventually employ about 250.

Both Denso and Eakas are suppliers for Toyota.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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