"Three years from today," he told them, "the land will grow green cars instead of cotton and soybeans."
Richard Fausset - LATIMES
- February 1, 2010
Will this venture fall through? --Ed.
A hybrid and electric auto plant was promised in Tunica County last year -- welcome news as the recession takes a toll on the vital casino industry here. But the automotive developer has been quiet.
Here in this Mississippi Delta county, they are waiting for the return of the slender man in the elegant suit -- the one who spoke, in a heavy Chinese accent, of a promise that couldn't have been more welcome or fashionable.
It was the promise of a new green industry, with hundreds of green jobs.
"I heard about it," said Claude Boyd, a 41-year-old farmhand out of work after the winter harvest. "I need it bad. I've got good references."
Joey Lowery, 42 and also unemployed, sounded a skeptical note. "They done had a bunch of things that's been supposed to come in," he said. "You hear about it, then after several months you don't hear anything again."
His name is Xiaolin "Charles" Wang, a 43-year-old native of Hunan, China, and CEO of the fledgling GreenTech Automotive Inc. He hopes to build a billion-dollar hybrid and electric auto plant here on 1,500 acres of pancake-flat delta farmland, in what was once one of the most depressed settings in the rural South.
Wang made his big announcement at a couple of splashy events in October. A throng of press and Mississippi big shots watched him perform a ceremonial groundbreaking and... [Read More]