June 2019

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama celebrates grand opening of new cylinder head machining plant in Montgomery
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and other elected officials joined Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA), in a celebration of the grand opening of HMMA’s cylinder head machining plant. The new plant is the third facility at HMMA to support production of more than 650,000 engines per year. The plant represents a $388 million total investment to manufacturing engine cylinder heads and also to enhance existing operations to support the production of new Sonata and Elantra sedan models. This investment also created 50 new jobs.

Dajcor Aluminum to create 265 full-time jobs in Eastern Kentucky
Gov. Matt Bevin announced in the spring quarter that Dajcor Aluminum, a Canadian manufacturer of aluminum products, plans to create up to 265 full-time jobs as it invests nearly $19.6 million to locate its first U.S. operation near Hazard, Ky.

Japan-Based DaikyoNishikawa plans Huntsville, Ala., assembly plant
Japan-based DaikyoNishikawa U.S. plans to invest $110 million to open an auto parts manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Ala. The project will serve the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. assembly plant now under construction. The project will create 380 jobs to produce plastic automotive parts.

Mercedes may move sedan production back to Germany to focus on more SUVs at Alabama plant
For over 20 years, Germany-based Mercedes-Benz has made SUVs exclusively at its sprawling assembly plant in Vance, Ala. In 2014, the automaker experimented with adding the C-Class sedan model to its Alabama plant, even closing a plant in Germany to do so. Now Mercedes is considering shifting sedan production back to Germany or to another plant so it can focus on producing more SUVs and light trucks, which have become ever-more popular in the U.S. than sedans. In fact, 60 percent of Mercedes’ U.S. sales — built in the U.S. or abroad — are SUVs and crossovers. Sources have maintained that Mercedes will move C-Class sedan production back to Germany by fall 2020. The 6-million-square-foot plant in Vance, Ala., is working at 93 percent capacity and Mercedes expects that to improve once all vehicles made at the facility are SUVs and crossovers. In addition to Alabama, the C-Class model is made in Germany, South Africa and China.

Cree investing up to $1 billion in North Carolina
Cree will increase its capacity at its silicon carbine fabrication facility in Durham, N.C. When the new addition to its facility is up and running in 2024, Cree will substantially increase its silicon carbide materials and wafer capacity used in the automotive, communications and industrial markets.

Canadian auto supplier sets up shop in Tennessee
Hematite will invest $11.5 million to locate a production facility in Fayetteville, Tenn. The company manufactures precision parts from recycled materials that primarily deal with acoustics in vehicles. The project will create 70 jobs.

Auto supplier lands in Augusta, Ga.
Spain-based Acoustics and Insulation Techniques, a manufacturer of audio insulation for the automotive and construction industries, will create 45 jobs and invest $12 million in its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Augusta, Ga. The company supplies its products to BMW, Mercedes and Volvo, among other automakers.

Volvo expects to hire 2,500 more workers in South Carolina within a few years
Volvo Cars expects to hire 2,500 more employees to build the next generation XC90 SUV in 2022. Hiring will begin in 2020. The plant, which assembles the S60 sedan, is only making about 50,000 vehicles in its first year. That figure has dropped dramatically considering about half of the S60s made in the first and second years were to be exported to China. The trade tariffs have snuffed that plan out for now. By 2022, the plant is expected to house about 4,000 workers and an annual unit output of about 150,000 vehicles.

German auto parts supplier relocating plant from California to Texas
Germany-based Wagner Tuning will locate a parts plant in Kilgore, Texas, from California. The company is investing over $6 million in the facility that will house 30 workers.

Auto supplier to expand Alabama facility
In the spring, Sejin America announced plans to spend $15 million on new machines and add 36 jobs to the payroll at its Dadeville facility. The company makes small automobile components for manufacturers such as Hyundai, Kia and Mercedes.

Ford establishing new call center in Houston
Michigan-based automaker Ford is opening a new call center in Houston, and it’s looking to fill more than 500 positions. The center will mainly focus on helping people who own Ford trucks.

GM to hire 400 workers to build C8 Corvette in Kentucky
General Motors says it will add more than 400 hourly jobs to fill a second shift at its Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky to build the long-awaited mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8, which will launch as a 2020 model. The hiring plans mean total employment at the plant will rise to more than 1,300. Since 2011, GM said it has invested more than $900 million in the plant, which has built the Corvette since it opened in 1981.

Advanced Design Solutions creating 180 jobs in Tennessee
Advanced Design Solutions will invest $10 million and create nearly 180 jobs in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. The auto supplier will locate its operations in part of the former Murray Ohio Manufacturing Company facility.

Texas anxiously awaits Toyota’s June 30 decision
Toyota will decide by June 30 whether it will plow $392 million into upgrades at its San Antonio truck plant or at one of its other manufacturing facilities in North America. Local officials, who have put together incentive packages to try to win over Toyota, are watching anxiously.

Advanced Design Solutions creating 180 jobs in Tennessee
Advanced Design Solutions will invest $10 million and create nearly 180 jobs in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. The auto supplier will renovate and locate its operations in part of the former Murray Ohio Manufacturing Company facility.

Auto supplier expanding in Lincoln County, N.C.
Tenowo, a nonwoven textiles company that makes products for automakers, is expanding again in the Charlotte region. The company will make a $4.5 million investment in new equipment and perhaps expand its huge facility there.

Nucor upgrading steel plant in South Carolina
Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp. is expanding the product capacity of its bar mill in Darlington, S.C., to allow production of higher-grade steel for the automotive market and other specialty uses. Nucor is not disclosing the costs of the project, and the project will not mean any additional employment at the site, which now provides about 450 jobs.

Hitachi Automotive makes $100 million expansion in Monroe, Ga.
Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, a global supplier of automotive parts, has announced a massive, multi-year expansion of its manufacturing plant in Monroe, approximately 45 miles east of Atlanta. Hitachi will invest anywhere from $100 million to $330 million in expanding its existing facility. The project is expected to bring an additional 100 jobs to Walton County.

E-N-G Mobile Systems chooses Fayetteville, N.C.
E-N-G Mobile Systems, a California-based company, will invest $2.3 million to build a manufacturing facility and create 60 jobs in Cumberland County. E-N-G builds specialized vehicles, including those for electronic news gathering and mobile labs.

Auto parts manufacturer opens in Dorchester County, S.C.
A new auto parts manufacturer recently opened its doors in Dorchester County. India-based Sundaram-Clayton’s first plant in the U.S., will make aluminum die-cast parts for several different global auto brands. The facility is expected to generate 230 new jobs.

Michael Randle

Author: Michael Randle