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Why Texas Landed Toyota

I read with great interest several articles on the attempts of Arkansas to get the new Toyota truck plant in Marion, Ark.

Until this past weekend I did not know that Texas started rather late in the process to attract the new Toyota plant.

As soon as Texas threw its name in the pot to get that Toyota plant, the game was already over - except no one in Arkansas knew it.

The big difference between Texas and Arkansas is that Texas knows how to put a deal together and close it and Arkansas doesn't.

By all accounts Arkansas had a bigger economic incentive package than did Texas, and the initial site, location, etc., were more than enough for a favorable report, to the Toyota board of directors.

The question or questions that should be asked is what happened to prevent the closing of the deal?

It certainly wasn't because there was a bigger economic incentive package from Texas or that the San Antonio site was better than the one at Marion.

It boiled down to the fact that Texans are willing to do whatever it takes to close a deal, and Arkansas just, doesn't really know how to. Particularly with a Baptist minister for a governor who surrounds himself with like-minded people who really don't know how things work in the real world.

Texas closed that Toyota deal because they know it involves more than just having something good on paper. It also involves making sure that those people from the company that are making the decisions and recommendations are sufficiently wined and dined.

That is called spreading the B's. Now you might ask just what is spreading the B's. Well if you were a fan of the old television show "Dallas," you would know. The show's main character, "J.R. Ewing," once explained that spreading the B's was short for "Booty, Booze and Broads."

Now you can be sure that Texas spread plenty of B's to get that Toyota plant. That in a nutshell is in my opinion why Texas got that plant and why we in Arkansas lost out and will continue to lose out. We have to have people who are capable of closing a big deal, or we are just not going to get an automotive plant or anything else of that magnitude in this state.

Stephen A. McIntyre

Little Rock
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Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Feb 17, 2003
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