Issue: Jun 2007


Toyota Awards Contract to Local Mississippi Firms



by Steve Barclay

Toyota has awarded its first general contract to two local companies for construction of its new Blue Springs vehicle plant just outside of Tupelo, Mississippi.

L & T Construction, Inc. and M & H Construction, Inc., both based in DeSoto County, have formed a joint venture for the project and will oversee all site preparation work starting this month and will utilize up to 60 employees for the project. Site preparation includes soil erosion protection, storm water retention ponds, mass excavation and leveling for all building pads, the marshalling yard and rail site.

"From day one, our preference has been to hire local contractors to build our vehicle manufacturing plant in Blue Springs," said Jeff Caldwell, Assistant General Manager of Production Engineering at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. "We are pleased that L & T and M & H submitted a competitive bid and are confident that they will do a good job on the project."

Site preparation work will continue through this fall. Toyota will select general contractors for the next phases of the project -- foundation work and steel erection -- later this year. At peak construction in summer 2008, approximately 2,000 workers will be on site and the majority of them will be from the local area.

In February, Toyota announced that it had chosen a 1,700-acre site in Blue Springs to build 150,000 Toyota Highlander SUVs annually. The new plant represents a $1.3 billion investment by Toyota that is expected to hire 2,000 team members. Vehicle production is scheduled to start by 2010.

Toyota's goal is to spend 15 percent of the construction budget for Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi (TMMMS) with minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs).

Contractors, subcontractors and vendors interested in doing business at TMMMS can visit http://www.toyotasupplier.com/ for further information.

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