Northeast Arkansas Could Benefit from Auto Plant

September 19, 2002
Posted at: 2:45 p.m. CDT


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A Kentucky community that became home to a Toyota auto plant 16 years ago has seen broad economic benefits from the factory.

East Arkansas officials can look to a study of that plant to help plan for the possibility of a similar facility opening shop in Crittenden County. A site near West Memphis is one four locations in the South being considered by Japan's largest automaker.

In 1986, Toyota started work on its plant in Georgetown, Ky., and a 1999 study by the University of Kentucky's Centerfor Business and Economic Research shows how far the economic impact reaches. Numerous business were started in the area; some as suppliers to the plant, and others drawing on the resulting uptick in the economy.

The state gave the plant $147

million in incentives, and the study says that sum was more than made up in five years.
Economic development officials in Arkansas have been tight-lipped about the prospect of landing the plant.