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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Report: Triad in hunt for Toyota manufacturing plant
The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area - 10:52 AM EDT Monday

The Triad is one of four Southern sites in the running for a new Toyota Motor Co. assembly plant, according to a report in The New York Times.

The Times reported Saturday that the Greensboro area was being considered along with sites near Chattanooga, Tenn., Roanoke, Va., and northeast Arkansas for an assembly facility. Toyota (NYSE: TM) is also considering expanding a plant already under construction in San Antonio, Texas, to handle the load, the story said.

Specifics of the plant, including size, employment and the potential price tag, were not reported. The San Antonio plant, slated to open later this year, will assemble Toyota's Tundra pickup.

Auto-assembly plants, which the Triad has been chasing for decades, typically also bring many suppliers to the area around the plant, making the value more than just the jobs the auto-manufacturer itself creates.

In the last 15 years, the Triad and North Carolina lost high-dollar bidding wars for a huge BMW plant to South Carolina and a similarly huge Mercedes Benz plant to Alabama.

The Times story said Toyota directors could receive a recommendation on a preferred site by later this summer, with the plant opening late this decade.

The opening of a toyota plant near Greensboro would also coincide with the timing of the opoening of the FedEx hub. In term of logistics, infrastructure, and available work force, Greensboro is the best site. The only thing that would keep Toyota from coming to the Greensboro area in opinion is the state not offering enough incentives.
 

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If the state can strike a deal that will be beneficial for both sides, it will be a major win for Greensboro and the Triad. Maybe a combination of state and local resources could provide enough incentives for Toyota? It's good thing to know that GSO is considered, though. Best of luck!!!
 

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Roanoke is said to be the leading city for the plant, so don't get too excited. They are after political power as much, if not more, than incentives. The Triad area newspapers have omitted that and that is Virginia's strength in the battle for the plant. They also want a site near their other manufacturing centers and the Triad is the furthest site from those other plants.

The city of Greensboro and Guilford County are out of the running, as are Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Winston-Salem/Forsyth has terrain issues and doesn't have a piece of land big enough for it. Greensboro/Guilford County is in an EPA Containment Area and also doesn't have a piece of land big enough for it. Davidson County / Lexington is also in an EPA Containment Area. An EPA Containment Area takes a county out-of-the-running instantly. I would like to see this at a site near I-74 and I-77 in Surry County, but I doubt it. They could really use something like this. The leading county is likely Alamance County (Burlington area). I remember the state pushing a site near the Alamance-Orange county line as a possible car manufacturing site. It's between Durham and Greensboro.

The News & Record is saying Davie County (Suburban Winston-Salem), Randolph County (Suburban High Point) and Rockingham County (Surburban Greensboro) are likely the leading sites, but those are guesses by the N&R based on what they are looking for. The best site would be the "super site" the state and Progress Energy are promoting. It is located near Fayetteville, but doesn't appear to be in the running.

Enterprise South Business Park (Chattanooga) is actively targeting every proposed auto manufacturing plant and Arkansas will fight aggressively with incentives. They have wanted one of these for years. Virginia has the political power Toyota wants and they have invested millions to improve infrastructure in western VA for a possible auto plant. VA and NC both have stayed out of the expensive auto plant incentive wars. The incentive battle will likely be intense. Rail is more important to them than air cargo. I'm guessing Chattanooga will be the prefered site and Arkansas will be the high bidder in incentives? I wouldn't doubt $400 million. Anyone remember the offers Mississippi made for Kia? Can North Carolina afford that? I know most of it is taxes not collected, but not all of it. Someone's hog farm in E-NC won't get millions in pork barrel cash next year for their donations... Goldsboro may have to wait a year for their five proposed limited access outer highway loops! No! :D

How will the court case against incentives impact North Carolina's chances? Site Selectors are well aware of this court case. I think NC and the current front running VA will be out early.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I dont know. If Greensboro were out of the running becasue of the things you mentioned, it wouldnt have been on the list in the first place. The New York Times clearly stated Greensboro is on their list.

lol, Why do I get the feeling you don't want Toyota to come to the Greensboro area Matthew ?;)
 

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It's not non containment, but Non-attainment. Also they want a site not close to their others, so that may favor the Triad? Sorry for the mistake in my post.

The newspaper in Greensboro said all that. They say this will be a rural area development (will bring more sprawl) due to size and Greensboro is already out of the running for it due to being an EPA Non-attainment Area. This also removes Davidson County. Operating in Non-attainment Areas requires limits and added expenses for the companies. This has already hurt Davidson and cost them. You would think Winston-Salem would love this, but they don't have a site big enough. Both Forsyth and Guilford counties say they don't have a piece of land big enough for projects like this and your local newspaper also said this today. Also all the papers outside NC seem to favor Roanoke. This story didn't make any NC papers until yesterday. It was printed Saturday and appeared in a Chattanooga paper Saturday. I think Chattanooga will get it. They've tried hard to get one of these and they will go all-out this time. It's also an ideal site.


Greensboro New & Record Tuesday said:
Toyota is looking for several attributes that it must have nearby to open a plant, Sieger said, including:

• the right piece of land: Experts say it could need between 1,500 and 2,000 acres.

• an interstate highway nearby.

• ready access to rail. About 75 percent of the company's cars are shipped by rail.

• a good available work force.

• a site not close to the company's other factories.

• financial incentives.

Triad areas with less urban development and population, like Randolph, Rockingham and Davie counties, would be more likely to find big pieces of available land than congested counties like Forsyth and Guilford.

Guilford County would probably be out of the running, primarily because it has a limited amount of land and one other key problem: It doesn't meet the EPA's air-quality standards. That means expensive restrictions for businesses.

"I've had quite a bit of experience with auto companies looking for site selection services and the first thing we've done is automatically eliminate any area with non-attainment status," said Buzz Canup, president of the Site Selection Group for Angelou Economics, a Texas firm that helped Mississippi recruit a Nissan plant, among many other big clients.
I'm sure eastern Alamance County is the leading site in North Carolina. It's a good fit. Davidson County is focusing on automotive related manufacturing and they are out of the running for this. The Thomasville area would be perfect. Mount Airy and Galax need it more though. A combined incentive offer from NC and VA for a site at the state line with a tax sharing plan would do the most good. I know that would never happen though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
However the Triad has the best location and logistics network. Putting incentives aside, why would Toyota choose the other sites over the Triad? The Triad has more interstate connections that spread throughout the country. The Triad has FedEX and other local suplliers that could benefit Toyota. The Triad has the best scenario for time sensitive operations. As for a specific site, the article says Greensboro area which means it wouldnt neccisarily be built in Greensboro but like you Said Matthew, an outlying county such as Alamance. But I think the only thing that would kill it for the Triad is incentives. Will NC match other states? We already lost Mercedes and BMW due to incentives. Thats really the big up hill battle. We just recently shelled out a crap load of money to Dell and a bidding war between states will likely drive the price beyond what the state gave to Dell.
 

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Did they build one in San Antonio? There is alot of auto plants in the S.E., good for Greensboro ;)
 

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I see you're starting to agree with me now.

Like I said... NC and VA will be the first out when incentives reach their upper levels. Arkansas' Goveror would give his first born child for this.

• the right piece of land: Chattanooga can show you a site right now that was featured in a number of site selection magazines as a great site for automotive manufacturing. The Triad can't. Never underestimate a city that has everything in order (well prepared for this) and can show you a site right now.

• an interstate highway nearby: All cities in the running have this. A big highway network surrounded by sprawl could be a negative though?

• ready access to rail: This favors Chattanooga. The Arkansas site is also near Memphis. Chattanooga is a good rail hub without the extreme backups some other major rail hubs face. Rail is the most important, but I don't think it needs to be a major rail hub. I'm sure it will help sell the site though.

• a good available work force: This favors both Chattanooga and the Triad. Chattanooga has recieved more reconition for it's good work force in site selection circles though.

• a site not close to the company's other factories: This favors Roanoke the most and the Triad.

• financial incentives: Arkansas will likely offer the most, followed by Chattanooga/Tennessee.

• Politics: This favors Roanoke and the great state of Virginia.

Looks to me like Chattanooga will be the leading site.

The Triad tries to say FedEx and the over-built sprawl-way system make the area the ideal location for everything. In reality, they are likely incorrectly pitching these things and are not focused on the needs of the company. Those needs are rail, a big site and one Interstate with few costly backups. The site will likely have a rail line on the campus. They need to research the needs of companies and pitch a site that meets their needs, instead of saying you need to be near FedEx and a series of loops and spurs circling the metro area. I-40/85 east of Burlington has a rail line near-by and is an example of what they actually need. I'm sure the state is pitching this area (Burlington), while the Triad tries to pitch the same things (FedEx and highways) they always bring up.

What the NC newspapers are leaving out.
Along with good will, analysts said Toyota was also looking to build on its political influence. It does not have operations in any of the states that it is considering for a new assembly plant, meaning that it could win political points with those states' governors and lawmakers.

In Virginia, where Toyota is considering a site outside Roanoke, the state's former Democratic governor, Mark Warner, has been mentioned as a candidate for president in 2008.

The Virginia site became more attractive to Toyota after Ford announced it would close its Norfolk plant, company executives said.

But Mr. Womack said Toyota would make its decision based on the quality of the state's work force, the proximity to its other plants and to customers, and the politics of its choice, with incentives ranking last.

"They're looking at a complicated algorithm," Mr. Womack said.
Roanoke is in an early lead, but the incentive battles will likely change all of that. Arkansas may have the better overall site?

Strengths: ( * leader )

Arkansas:
• the right piece of land. *
• an interstate highway nearby. *
• ready access to rail. *
• a good available work force.
• financial incentives. *

Roanoke:
• an interstate highway nearby.
• ready access to rail.
• a good available work force.
• a site not close to the company's other factories. *
• Political power. *

Chattanooga:
• the right piece of land.
• an interstate highway nearby.
• ready access to rail.
• a good available work force. *
• financial incentives.

Triad:
• an interstate highway nearby.
• ready access to rail.
• a good available work force.
• a site not close to the company's other factories.
 

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Matthew said:
Methinks you just like to diss the Triad....Greensboro in particular.
I've seen you do it here before :sleepy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Matt I only agree with the point that incentives could be a problem for North Carolina based on our track record for attracting auto assembly plants. But things could be different this time. THey say the third time is the charm. In terms of infrastructure and Location, Greensboro is by far the best site of the four. The FedEx Hub alone is a reason that Toyota should choose Greensboro over the other sites. Time sensative companies cluster around air cargo hubs such as FedEx and Toyota definatly has a time sensative operation. Don't forget, FedEx was the icing on the cake that tiped Dell our way. Dell could have picked anywhere in the U.S.
 

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cityboi said:
Matt I only agree with the point that incentives could be a problem for North Carolina based on our track record for attracting auto assembly plants. But things could be different this time. THey say the third time is the charm. In terms of infrastructure and Location, Greensboro is by far the best site of the four. The FedEx Hub alone is a reason that Toyota should choose Greensboro over the other sites.
Don't listen to Matt. He has put down Greensboro here before. :sleepy:
 

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Well, at least it seems as though Matt is trying to be objective. You always want to think positive, but you also have to face facts. This is why I tried to keep a level head when Charleston was in the running for the EADS plant that eventually went to Mobile. You want your state to land great projects like this, but it is often based on a complicated set of factors, as Matt has pointed out. I do wish the Triad well however.
 

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Like stated before, Virginia has mostly stayed out of the automobile war,but do not count the state out as of yet. Roanoke offers the NS railway, as well as many, many, many miles of railes all throughout the area, most likely much more than the other competitors. With Ford announcing the imminent closure of its Norfolk plant, I do think this gives Kaine even more incenitive to pay up. VA also had a 200 Billion surplus last year, as well as the nations lowest unemployment. Roanoke also offers the close proximity to many major roads, as well as Virginia Tech, which offers the developments of the "Smart Road", a multi-million dollar investment by the university used by all major car manufacturers. With a strong manufacturing base, as well as large incenitives, Roanoke is a pretty good choice for Toyota's new ventures.
 

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From the New York Times-

"Virginia's appearance on the list comes a day after the Ford Motor Company announced it would close its 81-year-old truck plant there, as part of a restructuring plan called the Way Forward. That move came as a surprise, given that Ford invested $375 million earlier this decade to modernize the factory."

"In Virginia, where Toyota is considering a site outside Roanoke, the state's former Democratic governor, Mark Warner, has been mentioned as a candidate for president in 2008."

"The Virginia site became more attractive to Toyota after Ford announced it would close its Norfolk plant, company executives said."
 

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Last Quote from me-

Prospect of Toyota plant intrigues Va.

BY REX BOWMAN
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER Apr 18, 2006



ROANOKE -- Economic-development officials in the Roanoke area, which is in the running for a Toyota assembly plant, said yesterday that Virginia can beat out three competing states -- if it is willing to offer the company $100 million in incentives.

Or more.

If their analysis is right, that could spell trouble for the Roanoke area's chances because Virginia, unlike other Southern states, is not known for offering vast sums to lure major firms.

"We've not been about buying businesses," said Phil Sparks, head of the Roanoke Valley Economic Development Partnership.

"But this would mean so much to western Virginia that the state will really have to think hard about it."

"I think it would be worth a very significant investment," said David Tickner, the economic-development director in Pulaski County. "It's a lot of jobs and tremendous revenue."

In a Saturday article, The New York Times said Toyota is considering building an automobile-assembly plant in one of four places: the Roanoke area; northeast Arkansas; Chattanooga, Tenn.; or Greensboro, N.C.

Yesterday, Toyota spokesman Dan Sieger said the company is still studying whether it needs a new plant, so it is not looking for a site. But the company has approached Virginia about putting an assembly plant in the state, an official in Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's administration said.

States consider auto-assembly plants major economic prizes because they employ thousands and attract peripheral industries, such as parts suppliers. Toyota plans to open its newest assembly plant in San Antonio this year and to ultimately hire 4,000 workers.

Texas provided Toyota with more than $130 million in incentives. The deal was not unique. North Carolina, for instance, offered Dell Computer Corp. about $250 million in incentives to build a plant and hire 1,500 workers. South Carolina made BMW eligible for $80 million in state money for carrying out a $400 million expansion.

Virginia has no such track record of offering high-dollar incentives. The Governor's Opportunity Fund, which helps local governments land businesses, spends up to $11 million per year.

Kaine declined to discuss Toyota yesterday, telling reporters, "I don't talk about prospects." But Kaine spokesman Kevin Hall said Virginia has offered performance-based incentives to companies, requiring them to hire a certain number of employees, for instance, before getting any money from the state. He declined to say what that policy might mean for Toyota.

Brett Vassey, president of the Virginia Manufacturers Association, said it is time for the state to reconsider its incentives policies. "Competing for major companies seems to have evolved into a much higher-stakes game than we are playing. Virginia has never competed for a project of that magnitude, meaning $100 million."

Sieger said incentives are an important factor in determining where the company locates assembly plants, but they are not the only factor.
 

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The Roanoke Times, seemed as if it isnt concerned about drawing a Toyota, but the city leaders actually working together, as they have not been, NS Railways is also set to build a new highrise in DT Roanoke. The railroad is a major part of Roanoke, DT Roanoke has an Historic Rail District, and even goes right through DT. The new proposed plan for the overcrowded I-81, is having trucks ride on trains, which would build even more tracks, Roanoke has the 3rd and 8th largest railyards/railjunctions in the US.

Either way, Roanoke, Greensboro, or Chat., I would be happy that they even considered these areas.

Good Luck to all cities.
 

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If it did go in Virginia, I think the best spot would be on the Roanoke/Montgomery county line south of I81 and north of 460/11. It has easy interstate access and is close to rail and it could draw workers from the Roanoke and New River Valleys. There's no large industrial park there, but there is a large tract of relatively flat, cleared land.
 

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weill said:
If it did go in Virginia, I think the best spot would be on the Roanoke/Montgomery county line south of I81 and north of 460/11. It has easy interstate access and is close to rail and it could draw workers from the Roanoke and New River Valleys. There's no large industrial park there, but there is a large tract of relatively flat, cleared land.
It would be nice to have it here in GSO, but Roanoke actually deserves it more.
I'd be happy if Roanoke got it. And I feel that way because we have a slight connection to Roanoke here in Greensboro. We get some Virginia radio stations based out of Roanoke and central Virginia and there are many south-central Virginians that shop here and do other things for entertainment.

Like I said, it would be nice to get it, but I'd be happy if Virginia gets it. :)
 
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