Supervisors OK loan for Nissan Supplier

29 Mar / Supervisors OK loan for Nissan Supplier

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Madison County supervisors approved a $650,000 startup loan to a Nissan minority supplier firm Friday, but not before a Japanese firm agreed to guarantee the loan.

Supervisors put the deal on ice after the firm, IMS Autrans, asked the county to release it from personal and spousal guaranties of the loan as required by state law, Madison County attorney Dewey Hebree said.

The loan, a Community Development Block Grant loan through the Mississippi Development Authority, was approved in December, the facility is expected to open in late May.

“We were ready to sign, but IMS asked to be released from the spousal guarantee. The next week they wanted out of the personal guarantee, and the supervisors said no.

“We didn’t want to make the citizens of Madison County liable for anything if the people borrowing the money wouldn’t sign for it,” Supervisor Marc Sharpe said.

In the end, Nissho Iwai American Corp., guarantied the loan. The Japanese company is the parent company of Autrans, a Nissan Supplier for the Smyrna, Tenn., plant.

At the Mississippi plant, IMS of Jackson holds 51 percent interest and Autrans Corp. holds 49 percent interest in the joint venture IMS Autrans.

IMS Autrans will occupy a 300,000 square foot building just south of the Nissan facility and will employ 210 people.

The company will provide assembly services for other Nissan suppliers outside of Mississippi, as well as logistics services.

John Calhoun, CEO of IMS, said the facility would have five main tenants and 10 other suppliers. The key to the success of the joint venture was assistance by MDA, he said.

“MDA has put its money where its mouth is,” he said. “Now we’re ready to go forward. It’s only 50 days before they start building cars.”

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