September 2019

September 2019

New Jersey auto supplier to set up shop in South Carolina
CRP Industries will invest $2.5 million and move into a new 50,000-square-foot facility in Conway, S.C. The power steering systems manufacturer will create 115 jobs in the deal.

Ford to invest $550 million to upgrade the Louisville Assembly Plant
Detroit-based Ford Motor Co. will invest $550 million to install new equipment and modernize its Louisville Assembly plant where it makes the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair models. The investment coincides with a new generation of its high-selling Escape SUV. The new model will incorporate a variety of new technologies.

Honda plant in Alabama has huge economic ripple
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama contributed more than $12 billion in 2018 to the state’s economy. Along with its suppliers, Honda was responsible for more than 45,647 jobs in Alabama, according to an economic impact study released in August by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama and the the Center for Business and Economic Research at The University of Alabama.

Auto parts supplier Faurecia opens plant in Missouri
Faurecia’s new 281,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Blue Springs, Mo., is now operational, making doors and dashboards for the Kansas City-made Ford F-150 pickup. The plant is operational, employing about 200 people, however at full buildout, plant employment is expected to top 400.

Toyota supplier to hire 900 in South Texas
Aisin AW, a maker of transmissions for Toyota and other automakers, is building a new plant in Guadalupe County, near San Antonio. The $400 million project will create 900 jobs. Toyota assembles pickup trucks in San Antonio.

Japanese auto parts supplier plans Tennessee plant
HIROTEC Group, a Japan-based global automotive supplier specializing in the production of body-in-white closures, exhaust systems, and closure manufacturing equipment, is investing in a new plant in Fayetteville, Tenn. The new plant will specialize in exhaust production and stamped parts. The $48 million plant will house 100 workers.

Japan-based auto supplier to build plant to serve Mazda-Toyota plant in Alabama
In the summer, Japan-based global automotive supplier Vuteq announced it is investing $60 million to open a new plant that will service Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A., in Huntsville, Ala. The company will produce interior and exterior plastic-injected parts. Mazda and Toyota are currently building their joint venture plant in the Southern Automotive Corridor. The Vuteq project is a $60 million investment that will create 200 jobs.

Hino Motors opens its new West Virginia plant
In the summer, Hino Motors Manufacturing U.S.A. opened its 1 million-square-foot plant in Mineral Wells, W.Va. The company is now making class 6, 7 and 8 conventional trucks. The plant’s capacity is 15,000 trucks per year and at opening, Hino announced a new $40 million expansion that will bring employment at the facility to 800 jobs.

A leading economic indicator? Sales of RVs are sliding.
The recreational vehicle industry is seeing slower sales, a warning sign that a recession is ahead. In every recession since 1980, RV sales tumbled just before the recessions were official. Shipments of RVs have fallen 20 percent so far this year according to the RV Industry Association. In an article in The Wall Street Journal this summer, an economist at Ball State University, Michael Hicks, said, “The RV industry is better at calling recessions than economists are.”

Last year was Alabama’s biggest year ever for foreign direct investment
Alabama has been incredibly successful at recruiting foreign companies to the state. Four foreign automakers operate OEMs in the state with another — Mazda Toyota — building an OEM manufacturing facility. Last year, Alabama saw a record set in foreign direct investment with companies from 16 different countries launching projects with more than 7,500 new jobs. Those announcements set an investment record of $4.2 billion in 2018.

North Carolina on short list to land Mahindra Automotive
Flint, Mich., and Greensboro, N.C., are among the cities in contention to land Mahindra Automotive North America’s second U.S. assembly plant and the 2,000 jobs it would bring. The India-based automaker’s current assembly plant in Auburn Hills, Mich., is at capacity, and a significant expansion is needed to produce new products for the U.S. market.

Italy-Based auto supplier expands Tennessee operations
Athena-SCE, an automotive supplier, will invest more than $3 million to expand operations in Mount Pleasant, Tenn. The company plans to create 36 additional jobs in Maury County to produce gaskets and other sealing devices for automotive and industrial applications.

Hennessey expands in Texas to prep for Venom F5 hypercar
Hennessey Performance Engineering in late July celebrated the groundbreaking of an expansion of its plant in Sealy, Texas, to accommodate increased demand for its tuned vehicles, as well as the upcoming Venom F5 hypercar.

Auto supplier expanding in Chattanooga
A German auto supplier is expanding its operations in Chattanooga, Tenn., which will become its North American headquarters. The $6 million investment will create another 100 jobs in Hamilton County. ATN Hoelzel LP provides robotic gluing equipment for the auto industry.

Motus Integrated Technologies breaks ground on $15 million Alabama plant
Motus Integrated Technologies recently broke ground on its $15 million, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Gadsden, Ala. The 96,000-square-foot facility will create nearly 100 jobs producing headliners, armrests and trim components for the auto industry. The new Gadsden facility will span more than two acres of land and is anticipated to be complete next year.

Michael Randle

Author: Michael Randle