Landing Clay County tire plant was no easy task

Cowboy boots, a quick change of tires, a doctored photo, and knowing how to handle a Japanese business card and put a worried exec’s mind at ease all played a role in Mississippi landing a new Yokohama tire plant.

A very visibly relieved Gov. Phil Bryant and his top economic development director late Friday — after lawmakers passed an incentives package for Yokohama — recounted months of pitches and negotiations that resulted in Clay County beating out 3,000 other sites for the plant, and potentially 2,000 jobs.

Bryant looked about as tired as I’ve ever seen him and admitted he didn’t sleep much Thursday night, with Friday being “like waiting on Christmas morning.” Apparently newspaper leaks about what was supposed to be a top secret project until Friday didn’t help. Hehe. Mea culpa.

Clarion Ledger
4/27/13