July 2019

July 2019

Auto industry cutting jobs at the fastest pace since the financial crisis
According to a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., automakers are laying off employees at the fastest pace since the Great Recession. In the first four months of 2019, automakers had dismissed 19,802 workers. That is more than triple the 6,451 layoffs in the first four months of 2018.

Auto parts manufacturer picks Alabama city for new plant
South Korea-based Daechang Seat Company has chosen Phenix City, Ala., for a new auto parts plant. The plant will be a $9 million capital investment and will house 100 workers.

Navistar plans $125 million Alabama project
Navistar, a commercial truck and bus manufacturer, is investing $125 million in its plant in Huntsville, Ala. The investment is being made to produce next-generation big-bore powertrains. The project will create 145 jobs.

UAW loses at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant
VW workers at its plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., voted against joining the United Auto Workers in June. Employees voted 833 to 776 to reject the union over concerns that the German automaker would not expand the plant.

Volvo makes record investment in Pulaski County, Va.
Volvo Trucks is planning to invest $400 million to expand its Virginia factory over the next six years, increasing employment capacity by 777 people. The company is already the largest private-sector employer in the region, and now – after what state leaders are calling the largest capital investment in the history of Southwest Virginia – it will be able to accommodate roughly 4,000 workers at its height.

Mitsubishi bringing North American HQ to Tennessee
After 20 years in California, Mitsubishi is moving its North American headquarters — all corporate departments — to Franklin, Tenn., in a move that will bring the Japanese automaker closer to its sister company Nissan. The automaker is bringing about 200 jobs as part of its $18.25 million investment.

CarMax bringing 300 new jobs to Peachtree Corners, Ga.
CarMax has officially opened its new Customer Experience Center in Peachtree Corners. The company will now hire over 300 new employees to assist customers over the phone and online.

GM pumping millions into its Texas plant
GM announced a $20 million upgrade to its Arlington Assembly plant in North Texas in preparation for the launch of GM’s new full-size sports utility vehicles. GM builds the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and the Cadillac Escalade at Arlington plant. “We’ve been building trucks in Texas for more than 20 years,” said Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “We are counting on the Arlington team to continue focusing on building the highest quality products possible for our customers while preparations continue for the launch of the next generation of our full-size SUVs.”

CMWA increases expansion budget to $112 million in Paris, Ky.
Central Motor Wheel of America in Paris, Ky., will more than double its expansion project to $111.9 million and create 145 full-time jobs. . .60 more than initially anticipated.

Joint venture expanding operations in Opelika, Ala.
West Fraser, one of the largest lumber manufacturers in the United States, plans to invest an additional $43 million to construct a new planer mill, which will increase its manufacturing capabilities. Hanwha will invest an additional $32 million and create 128 new jobs. Hanwha manufactures high-quality lightweight composite materials and auto parts.

Car parts maker to expand in Botetourt County, Va.
Metalsa Structural Products plans to expand its Botetourt County manufacturing facility and create 25 new jobs. The company, which manufactures parts for commercial vehicles, will invest $6.4 million in its Cloverdale facility. The plant already employs more than 230 workers, but needed to expand to meet increased demand. The company also considered Mexico for the project.

AutoZone to add 130 jobs in Memphis, Tenn.
A unit of AutoZone wants to expand, adding 130 jobs and a capital investment of $145 million in Memphis. More than 100 of the jobs would pay an average of $77,000 a year. AutoZone Parts says it is investing in a digital, retail and commercial expansion that will enhance its presence in the automotive aftermarket industry. The company has purchased a block of historic buildings across the street from its main headquarters, with almost 60,000 square feet. AutoZone was founded in Memphis in 1979 and currently has 6,200 stores, 90,000 employees and ranks in the Fortune 500 with $11.2 billion in sales in 2018.

Michael Randle

Author: Michael Randle