Considering the economic climate and the unemployment rate in Mississippi and across the country, it’s easy to overlook one of the best business coups in the history of our great state.
The Nissan Canton plant celebrated its sixth anniversary last week.
Kind of seems like it has been here in the Magnolia State forever.
So, let’s see. As Mississippi treasures go, there’s the Mannings, the blues, Elvis Presley and now Nissan.
Way back in 2003, we ran a story in which Lynne Jeter wrote, “It was Mississippi’s best kept secret. And it marked undoubtedly the state’s best collaborative effort between between public and private entities to land what the New York Times called ‘the great economic prize of 2000.’”
Since the plant’s opening on May 27, 2003, more than 1.5 million vehicles have rolled off the assembly line.
Nissan was the first automaker to bring vehicle assembly operations to the State of Mississippi. Within its first year of operation, the Nissan Canton plant launched five vehicle models. Since beginning production, the plant has gone from Job One to producing approximately 1,000 vehicles a day for both the Nissan and Infiniti lineup.
“Nissan has taken advantage of Mississippi’s favorable business climate and high quality workforce to build one of the Southeast’s most successful automotive plants,” Gov. Haley Barbour has been quote to say on many occasions.
In this issue of the Mississippi Business Journal, we focus a lot of efforts on economic development and the job the Mississippi Development Authority has done with that over the years.
The MDA may have done one of its best jobs in working behind the scenes to help bring Nissan to Mississippi, and it is MDA that continues to work behind the scenes to bring development to Mississippi.
But while we place a lot of emphasis in who did what correctly to bring Nissan to Mississippi, it should be pointed out that much of what is important to so many in the business world looking to locate a business here.
As Blake Wilson at the Mississippi Economic Council once said, the people of Mississippi are our secret weapon.
“Our interconnections and work ethic set us apart,” Wilson said.
Happy sixth birthday, Nissan. Here’s to many decades of good times in Mississippi.
Contact MBJ Managing Editor Ross Reily at firstname.lastname@example.org or (601) 364-1018.