A joint venture between companies from Mississippi and the Netherlands is investing $16 million in a facility in Lowndes County to manufacture terminal tractors.
Terberg Taylor Americas Group — a partnership of specialized vehicle manufacturers Taylor Group Companies of Louisville and Royal Terberg of the Netherlands — announced its plans Tuesday to build a 50,000 square-foot plant on a 34-acre spot on Charleigh Ford Road west of Columbus.
The partnership will create about 90 jobs in its first phase with an average salary of $51,500, Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins said. The LINK, a regional economic development agency, assisted in bringing the business partnership to Lowndes County after Taylor Group president Robert Taylor approached Higgins about the idea eight months ago.
“We look forward to this great adventure with these two great companies coming together as one in this joint venture,” Taylor said in a press release issued Tuesday morning. “There has been tremendous help from Joe Max Higgins, his team at Golden Triangle Development LINK and the Mississippi Development Authority. This facility will be a state-of-the-art factory where the best terminal tractors in the world will be built.”
Terminal tractors are blunt-nosed trucks that are used to move semi-truck trailers to and from loading docks. They are often used at ports and other transit facilities.
Phase One of the Terberg Taylor facility will manufacture up to 250 terminal tractors per year. The tractors will sell for $150,000 to $275,000, company representatives said at a press event Tuesday at the East Mississippi Community College Communiversity. The first tractor is expected to be built in the third quarter of 2023.
Over time, Terberg Taylor hopes to add three more construction phases to expand to a 200,000 square-foot facility.
Mississippi Development Authority has dedicated $2.6 million to the project, and Lowndes County has agreed to a 10-year tax incentive for the company that will provide up to $410,000 in water and sewer improvements at the site. Higgins told county supervisors on Monday the LINK had negotiated a Capital Improvements Revolving Loan with the state, if the county decides it wants to use it to help pay for the utility work. The loan would have a 10-year term at a 2 percent interest rate.
Once construction is underway, the new company plans to partner with EMCC and Mississippi State University to train its employees, MSU Vice President of Research and Economic Development Julie Jordan said.
Higgins, speaking with The Dispatch after the press event, said he had a soft spot for Taylor Companies, in particular. When the company was experiencing layoffs years ago, Taylor contacted Higgins to try to get those laid-off workers placed at the Steel Dynamics mill in Lowndes County because “he didn’t want to see his people miss a paycheck.”
“They are an absolutely iconic company,” Higgins said. “Their humbleness never ceases to amaze me.”
Reporters Brian Jones and Grant McLaughlin and Managing Editor Zack Plair all contributed to this report.
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