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Nissan

MBJ Editorial

That rumble and roar you might have heard last Tuesday was in Canton as cheering workers, executives and state and local leaders celebrated the introduction of Nissan’s newest vehicle, the full-sized Titan pickup truck.

Nissan cranked up production of the Titan October 22nd at the company’s $1.43-billion facility in Madison County.

The launch of the Titan is the third of five models to be produced at the plant, which will have the capacity to produce a total of 400,000 vehicles each year when fully operational. The original 2.5 million-square-foot facility was expanded by one million square feet, and Nissan increased its $930-million investment in Mississippi by $500 million.

Nissan’s arrival in the Magnolia State has created thousands of new manufacturing jobs, as well as approximately 30,000 indirect jobs related to the plant`s operation.

“Our workforce is among the best in the nation and Nissan officials have continued to attribute the tremendous success of this plant to its employees,” said Stephen Hale, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority. “This plant is one of the most technologically advanced facilities in the industry, and we are thrilled to be a partner in making this plant a success story.”

In May, production of the Quest minivan, and in August, the Pathfinder Armada began at Nissan-Canton. The Titan is expected to be available in December. In the spring of 2004, the Nissan Altima and an Infiniti SUV will be produced at the Canton facility.

All of these models are being built — and built well — by Mississippians. Nissan is just one of many bright spots in Mississippi’s economy, but for now it’s the biggest and indications are that it will only get bigger.

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, in a tight re-election race against Republican challenger Haley Barbour, praised the Nissan project as another indication of the state’s strong business climate and ability to compete internationally in attracting investments by international corporations.

“When Nissan announced Mississippi as the location for its new manufacturing facility, it sent a strong message around the world that Mississippi is a good place to do business,” Musgrove said.

And the governor is right: Mississippi is a great place to do business. We’re confident that it will continue to be so.

It’s too bad that message hasn’t been the focal point of any candidate’s campaign message this year.

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