August 2019

August 2019

Toyota shifts production plans for Alabama plant being built
The Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. joint venture assembly plant in North Alabama, which is under construction, will now assemble a new SUV model instead of the Toyota Corolla. The new SUV doesn’t have a name yet. Construction of the $1.6 billion, 4,000-employee plant is still on schedule with plans to ramp up production in 2021, however that production will be delayed by the new model. Mazda is also going to build a new SUV at the plant and both automakers will now share components.

BMW’s latest expansion marks $10 billion invested in Upstate South Carolina plant
The ongoing $600 million expansion at BMW’s plant in Greer, S.C., means that the German automaker has invested $10 billion in the plant since 1994. The plant houses about 9,000 workers and makes BMW’s X models. A University of South Carolina study found that the sprawling Spartanburg County plant has had $16.6 billion in economic impact.

Mitsubishi is relocating its HQ from California to Tennessee
Mitsubishi Motors North America is relocating its headquarters to the Nashville area from California in a move that will strengthen the Japanese automaker’s financial ties to Nissan and bolster Tennessee’s stature as a major U.S. auto hub. The move this year will  bring 200 jobs to Franklin, Tenn., where Nissan operates its North American headquarters. The Japanese automaker will invest over $18 million in the relocation.

Big auto supplier announcement in Texas
AW Texas, a U.S. subsidiary of Japanese manufacturer Aisin AW, plans to establish a new plant on a 159-acre site in suburban San Antonio. The company is a manufacturer of drivetrains and transmissions and is a major supplier to Toyota, which assembles pickups in San Antonio. The $400 million project will create 900 jobs.

BMW supplier to expand in Virginia
BimmerWorld, a leading BMW parts supplier, will invest $1 million to expand its operation in Pulaski County, Va. The company is increasing warehouse space to accommodate a growing demand for parts.

Auto supplier expands in Alabama
Italy-based 2A S.p.A, is expanding its facility in Auburn, Ala. The $15 million project will create 50 jobs. The die-casting company has many customers, including Porsche, Volvo Trucks and Alfa Romeo.

Nashville-based Nissan to cut over 12,000 jobs
Nissan, which operates its North American headquarters in the Nashville MSA, is cutting nine percent of its global workforce. The Japanese automaker has reduced shifts at its plant near Jackson, Miss., and cut about 400 workers. At this time, no cuts are expected at its headquarters, engine plant and assembly plant in Middle Tennessee. However, 12,500 jobs will be eliminated worldwide and production capacity will be reduced by 10 percent. Nissan has seen a seven percent decline in sales from the same period of last year.

Automotive supplier announces new facility in Alabama
Tier 1 automotive supplier Motus Integrated Technologies is bringing 90 new jobs to Alabama with a $15 million-plus investment in a new manufacturing facility. The company is opening the plant in Gadsden, Ala.

Gerhardi opens first U.S. plant in Alabama
German auto supplier Gerhardi has opened its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Montgomery. The $41.6 million plant will employ up to 235 people to produce interior and exterior plastic automotive parts at the state-of-the-art injection molding, electroplating and assembly plant.

Toyota plans mega investment in Texas
Toyota is reportedly planning to spend as much as $398 million to optimize its San Antonio truck plant.

The plant, which builds the Tundra and Tacoma, will be reconfigured to boost production of the trucks. While the upgrades won’t result in any new jobs, the investment would boost the plant’s capabilities through the installation of additional robotics and other technologies. The automaker will likely add at least one vehicle model to the Tundra and Tacoma pickups already rolling off the assembly line.

Love’s Travel Stop will establish facility in Milan, Tenn.
Love’s Travel Stop will create a tire retread and distribution facility in Milan. . . the largest of its kind for Love’s, totaling 200,000 square feet. The company will invest $8.8 million and create up to 80 jobs.

Goodyear upgrades North Carolina plant
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company plans to upgrade and add equipment at its 50-year-old tire production plant in Fayetteville, N.C. In order to receive a grant from the state, Goodyear must make at least $180 million in capital improvements at the site and retain the 2,000 jobs currently in place.

Blue Bird opens paint facility in Fort Valley, Ga.
School bus manufacturer Blue Bird has made a significant investment to build a 60,000-square-foot bus painting facility which uses the latest in robotic technology at its assembly plant in Fort Valley. In keeping with the company’s mission of going green, the facility features a zero-to-landfill design. All paint overspray will be captured, dried and sent to a power generation plant to be used as fuel.

Michael Randle

Author: Michael Randle