Alabama, for example, secured construction of a Mercedes-Benz plant in 1993 by offering $253 million
in state and local tax breaks, worker training and land improvement. For Honda, the state’s sweetener surrounding a 1999 deal to build a mini-van plant was $158 million
in similar perks, adding $90 million
in enticements when the company expanded the plant three years later. A 2001 deal with Toyota left the company with $29 million
in taxpayer gifts.
Alabama is hardly alone. Corker’s Tennessee recently lured Volkswagen to build a manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, offering the German automaker tax breaks, training and land preparation that could total $577 million
. In 2005, the state inspired Nissan to relocate its headquarters from southern California by offering $197
million in incentives, including $20 million in utility savings.
In 1992, South Carolina snagged a BMW plant for $150 million
in giveaways. In Mississippi in 2003, Nissan was lured with $363 million. In Georgia, a still-under-construction Kia plant received breaks estimated to be $415 million