VW says no to the Black Belt

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 5, 2008

A mega site near Meridian, Miss., could have been the home of a new Volkswagen plant, but reports out of Dothan say otherwise.

The Wiregrass area won’t be getting the plant, either, according to The Associated Press. Neither will Mobile.

Volkswagen says it has narrowed its search for a U.S. factory to Alabama, Tennessee and Michigan.

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The AP quoted Houston County commission Chairman Mark Culver saying the competition for the plant now is between north Alabama and Tennessee.

The Meridian site is at Meridian I-20/I-59 Industrial Park and includes:

577 available acres

Water and power on site

Railroad adjacent to site

Within 150 miles of three automotive assembly plants (Nissan in Canton, Mercedes in Vance, Ala. and Hyundai in Montgomery)

If an auto manufacturer locates there, the Black Belt would be affected in various ways, including jobs and job training. More about this in Tuesday’s Times-Journal.