Newspaper: Toyota Looks To Southeast As It Nears Plant Decision

Nashville (AP) -- Tennessee reportedly remains a strong contender for Toyota's eighth US assembly plant.

Governor Bredesen last summer said Tennessee was on Toyota's "relatively short list" for a new plant.

Citing anonymous sources, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Toyota has narrowed the candidates to sites in Tennessee, Arkansas and North Carolina, and that a decision could be announced this month.

The possible sites in Tennessee reportedly are in Chattanooga and in Crockett County in the western part of the state. The Arkansas site is in Marion, about 12 miles across the Mississippi River from Memphis.

Toyota spokesman Dan Sieger confirmed that the company is studying whether it will expand its North American production capacity, but declined to comment on the newspaper report.

Nissan and General Motors have automotive assembly plants in Tennessee, and several auto parts suppliers are expanding in the state.

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