JANUARY 29, 2007 - Posted at 11:22 a.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A Birmingham, Alabama-based publication predicts that Toyota will choose Marion as the site for a new assembly plant.
According to Southern Business and Development magazine, Toyota chose Marion "quite a while ago" but has not yet made the announcement. "Our official prediction is Toyota will choose Marion, Arkansas, as the site for its next assembly plant and that may be made public within a matter of days, or possibly not. We have waffled back and forth from a site in North Carolina, to Chattanooga to maybe Northeast Louisiana, and, of course, Arkansas over the last several weeks and months. But, we decided to go back to our original prediction made way back in late 2002."
The publication accurately predicted five years ago that Toyota's Tundra pick-up assembly plant would be built in San Antonio, TX. Marion was a finalist for that facility, but the magazine predicted in 2002 that the Crittenden County site would be home to a Toyota plant at some point in the future.
The report can be seen on-line at http://www.sb-d.com/issues/fall2006/news/012507.asp.
Hino Motors, a subsidiary of Toyota, already has a parts manufacturing plant near Marion.
Crittenden County and state economic development officials have aggressively marketed the site as a prime location for an automotive manufacturing facility, citing location and proximity to interstate highways, major airports, river and rail transportation, and distribution centers.