Toyota Industries to build Jackson County plant, hire 320

Toyota Industries Corp. plans to open a $350 million automotive parts plant in Jackson County in northeast Georgia, creating 320 jobs.

The automotive compressor parts plant, to be built near a related assembly plant off I-85 in Pendergrass, about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta, is expected to be completed in late 2013.

Plans call for the facility to make parts for automotive air conditioning compressors that are currently imported from Japan. Many of those parts will be assembled into finished compressors at the adjacent Toyota Industries' TD Automotive Compressor Georgia, a compressor assembly plant that opened in 2004.

It is the latest in a string of automotive parts manufacturers to pick Georgia in recent years, not to mention the opening of the Kia Motors plant in West Point. The Toyota Industries announcement follows last month’s news that German parts maker Erdrich Umformtechnik GmbH & Co. will open a plant in Dublin next year. That plant will create 178 jobs.

“In opening this new Georgia manufacturing facility, Toyota Industries Corporation sends a very clear message about its confidence in our state’s ability to help them remain competitive in global markets,” Gov. Nathan Deal said in a news release.

Toyota Industries will be eligible for up to about $20 million in state jobs tax credits and sales and use tax exemptions, said Alison Tyrer a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. That figure does not include potential local incentives.

Toyota Industries builds compressors for several automakers, including Toyota, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, the governor’s office said.

“Projects such as this underscore Georgia’s record of success in attracting international investment to our state,” said Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Courtney Bernardi, director of economic development for the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce, said the plant bolsters the area’s manufacturing base, and the pay for many of the positions will be higher than the county’s average.