Nissan to announce Canton expansion

July 30, 2013 9:43:55 AM



CANTON -- Nissan North American Inc. will announce today an expansion of its vehicle assembly plant in Canton. 


Nissan officials say the 10 a.m. outdoor event will include company officials and Gov. Phil Bryant. 


Nissan announced in January that it would start making the Murano crossover vehicle in Canton in late 2014, adding 400 jobs to its current total of about 5,200. 


Mississippi lawmakers approved this year a bill that would allow the Madison County Economic Development Authority to use $100 million in bonds toward the construction of buildings for suppliers of the Nissan plant. 


The authority could issue taxable industrial development bonds, with Nissan using its credit rating to persuade bond buyers to lend money. The authority would own multiple buildings that would house Nissan suppliers brought in to support the assembly plant's continued expansion. 


Lawmakers had estimated the suppliers could create 800 to 1,000 jobs. 


By signing an operating lease, Nissan or a supplier wouldn't have to include the debt associated with the building on its balance sheet, reducing its official debt levels and retaining capacity to borrow for other purposes. 


Nissan or the occupants, as part of the bond agreement, could take an option to purchase buildings after bonds are repaid. The building would not be given to the company for free at the end of the bond issue. 


The state has given Nissan incentives worth more than $378 million. One recent study places the total over time at more than $1 billion including tax breaks.