Toyota celebrates opening of North Mississippi plant

BLUE SPRINGS, Miss. — Four smiling team members climbed out of a sparkling new black Toyota Corolla sedan on Thursday, marking the long-awaited official opening of the Japanese automaker’s $800 million Union County plant

that will create 2,000 production jobs and 4,000 more among suppliers.

The workers drove the Corolla onto a stage in the massive new plant about 75 miles southeast of Memphis, cheered on by most of the 1,500 employees — Toyota calls them “team members” — already on the job and about that many local and state officials and other dignitaries.

The plant opening is good news for an area of the state still recovering from the great recession that began in 2008.

Commercial Appeal