The Perdue Administration released documents detailing the long running negotiations with Ford:
Just a year ago, Ford was a pen stroke away from building cars in Hapeville for another 50 years. State officials had drafted an agreement for Ford to revive the now doomed plant with three shiny new models, hundreds of extra paychecks and a truck-sized, $600 million investment by 2007, state documents show.
That was before the No. 2 automaker lost $1.3 billion in just three months last summer.
Ford had high hopes for Georgia, but as Oscar Suris, a company spokesman, put it, some of the company’s assumptions “didn’t materialize.”
To retool Hapeville, the state, along with Fulton and Clayton counties, promised Ford an $88 million incentive package including tax breaks, job training, equipment and road improvements. Perdue, in a letter dated Feb. 16, 2005, pledged to push legislation through this year’s General Assembly that would have made Ford eligible for $36 million in tax breaks.
In exchange, Ford would have closed Hapeville for nine months of renovation, then reopened it in 2007 to produce the Ford 500 sedan, and later, two Lincoln models. The company agreed to keep at least 1,800 jobs at the plant, and suppliers for the new models would have brought another 1,000 jobs to the state.
The AJC sued to get these documents released, but were unsuccessful. If they had been successful, what would have the reaction been to offering Ford all that money? I suspect some of those criticizing Perdue today for “not doing enough” would have criticized him for giving away the store.