Boosted by Terry McAuliffe, the Mississippi car plant is close to a state loan default.
James Watts, 54, talks outside his home in Tunica, Mississippi, about his efforts to land work at GreenTech Automotive. The electric car manufacturer co-founded by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe built a plant in Tunica County in 2014, but has fallen short of jobs and production projections. Mississippi has issued the company a Nov. 7 deadline to being repaying a $3 million state loan. McAuliffe resigned as company chairman in December 2012.
Championed by Terry McAuliffe and an ally whose name is synonymous with presidential politics, GreenTech Automotive seven years ago represented hope in a region where there has been little of it.
Today, the electric car plant McAuliffe left behind represents only another past-due bill. In late 2012, he put GreenTech in the rearview mirror when he launched his successful campaign for Virginia governor. The promises of tens of thousands of cars rolling off the lines and hundreds of jobs in a place starved for them vanished in the Delta dust.
The Mississippi Development Authority, which helped underwrite the plant, has set a Nov. 7 deadline for GreenTech to pay $150,000 on an overdue $3 million loan. Otherwise, the authority said, it “will be forced to declare all loan payments due and payable immediately.”
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