The Last of the Big Buffalo?

Are Amazon and Toyota the last big buffalo we’ll see for a while? Labor constraints will most likely slow large job-generating deals in 2018 in the South and elsewhere, possibly for years to come.



Over the past five decades, the American South has established itself as the go-to place in the United States for the biggest of big buffalo projects. In fact, the competition for large job-generating and investment deals in the South versus the other three U.S. regions isn’t even a competition. The South lands more big deals from the service and manufacturing sectors than any of the other U.S. regions by a large margin.


I recall being interviewed by a reporter with the San Antonio News Express when that market captured Toyota in 2003. It was a curious choice, a pickup truck plant going to South Texas where no automotive parts suppliers existed. The location was far from the spine of the Southern Automotive Corridor (which is Interstate 65) running from Alabama to Indiana. But the choice has sufficed, I guess. Not the best choice, but one Toyota must live with. Now Toyota is conducting another site search for their next “Big Kahuna,” and it looks like it’s down to two or three Southern states.


The newspaper reporter from San Antonio asked me in 2003, “Michael, is the South now ‘poised’ to become the largest economic region in the country?”

“Poised. . . poised, is that what you said?,” I responded. “Man,…Read More

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