Top Automotive Deals in the South – Fall2018

The Southern Auto Corridor’s 10 Largest New and Expanded Manufacturing and Selected Non-Manufacturing Job Announcements

Announcements made in the Fall 2018 Quarter

CompanyJobsInvestmentN/ELocationDescription
1. SK Innovation2,000$1,670NJackson Co., Ga.Lithium-ion Batteries
2. Advance Auto Parts600N/ARRaleigh, N.C.Headquarters
3. Sonic Automotive500$11NGaston Co., N.C.Auto Parts
4. DRAXLMAIER460$42EDuncan, S.C.Auto Parts
5. Metalsa250N/AEElizabethtown, Ky.Auto Parts
6. Eissmann Group200$14ESt. Clair Co., Ala.Auto Parts
7. Toyo Tire150$138EBartow Co., Ga.Tires
8. Fuel Total Systems150$60NMaury Co., Tenn.Auto Parts
9. SEWON America100$160ELaGrange, Ga.Auto Parts
10. Sundaram-Clayton100$40ERidgeville, S.C.Auto Parts

($Inv. = Investment in millions – N=New; E=Expansion; R=Relocation)

Sources: RandleReport.com

next

Top Automotive Deals in the South – Summer 2018

The Southern Auto Corridor’s 10 Largest New and Expanded Manufacturing and Selected Non-Manufacturing Job Announcements

Announcements made in the Summer 2018 Quarter

CompanyJobsInvestmentN/ELocationDescription
1. Lear500N/AETuscaloosa, Ala.Auto Parts
2. Oshkosh300N/ANJefferson City, Tenn.Truck Assembly
3. Webasto183$15ELexington, Ky.Auto Parts
4. Faurecia143$30NMaury County, Tenn.Auto Parts
5. Lohr140N/ANLincoln, Ala.Car Carriers
6. Nisshinbo100$72ECovington, Ga.Auto Parts
7. JTEKT100$5EGreenville, S.C.Headquarters
8. Michelin 100N/AEStarr, S.C.Tires
9. Unipres Alabama70$40ESt. Clair Co., Ala.Auto Parts
10. U.S. Tsubaki70$35EPortland, Tenn.Auto Parts

($Inv. = Investment in millions – N=New; E=Expansion; R=Relocation)

Sources: RandleReport.com

next

December 2018

For real-time news on business, politics and economic development in the South, go to www.RandleReport.com. For all economic development projects announced in the South, go to www.SB-D.com.

Korean battery maker to locate plant in Georgia that will house 2,000

BMW starts production of X7 at South Carolina plant

Volvo is reducing it employment count at new South Carolina plant because of tariffs

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing breaks ground on North Alabama plant

BMW ponders a new engine plant in North America

Hyundai considers significant upgrade of its plant in Montgomery, Ala.

Ford eliminates shift in Louisville; those 500 workers will move to truck plant

Bosch to spend $45 million on South Carolina operations

Toyo Tire expands Georgia plant

India-based auto supplier expanding in South Carolina

Advance Auto Parts relocating HQ to Raleigh

Exports of South Carolina-made BMWs keeps dropping

Louisiana lands big chemical plant

Swedish auto supplier picks South Carolina for first U.S. plant

New Flyer opens $25 million plant expansion in Anniston, Ala.

Smyrna’s Nissan plant approved for $158 million in upgrades

Bridgestone announces $40 million Tennessee expansion

Truform Manufacturing expands Dickson, Tenn., operations

Hwashin Investing $26 million in Alabama expansion

South Korean auto supplier planning $5 million expansion in Alabama

Fuel Total Systems chooses Mount Pleasant, Tenn., for manufacturing plant

December 2018

For real-time news on business, politics and economic development in the South, go to www.RandleReport.com. For all economic development projects announced in the South, go to www.SB-D.com.

Korean battery maker to locate plant in Georgia that will house 2,000
SK Innovation, a lithium-ion batteries manufacturer is investing $1.67 billion in a new project in Jackson County, Ga. The batteries are used in hybrid electric vehicles. The project will create 2,000 jobs.

BMW starts production of X7 at South Carolina plant
German automaker BMW is now building the X7 Sports Activity Vehicle. It is being assembled on the same line as the X5 and X6 models. The groundwork for the new model came when BMW announced in 2014 it would invest $1 billion at its plant in Spartanburg County. The company built a new 1.2 million-square-foot body shop that houses over 2,000 new robots. BMW produces about 1,400 vehicles a day at the plant with 70 percent of them exported to over 140 global markets.

Volvo is reducing it employment count at new South Carolina plant because of tariffs
Volvo global CEO Hakan Samuelsson told USA Today in late November that the company is reducing its hiring at its new $1.1 billion assembly plant in Berkeley County, S.C., due to President Trump’s trade war with China. Volvo picked South Carolina in 2015 for its first U.S. plant, and the facility opened for full production of the S60 sedan in the summer. In retaliation for tariffs from Trump, China hiked U.S. vehicle import tariffs from 25 to 40 percent. Volvo planned to export a large number of South Carolina-made Volvos to China. The company also planned to hire 1,500 by the end of this year and up to 4,000 when the Chinese-owned Swedish brand started another line for a SUV. The CEO did not say how many jobs will be reduced at the plant.

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing breaks ground on North Alabama plant
On November 16, 2018, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA broke ground on its $1.6 billion, 4,000-employee plant in Huntsville, Ala., and Limestone County. Fittingly, an automotive assembly line robot turned the first shovel of dirt. The plant will feature two lines, with one assembling the Toyota Corolla model and another building a new Mazda crossover SUV.

BMW ponders a new engine plant in North America
BMW is considering building a second plant in the U.S. The German automaker is studying whether to build an engine plant to support its largest plant worldwide, which is located in Spartanburg County, S.C. The company is also about to open a plant in Mexico. Currently, BMW imports its engines from Europe to its U.S. plant. BMW officials have been discussing the new plant for several years.

Hyundai considers significant upgrade of its plant in Montgomery, Ala.
Hyundai CEO Wonhee Lee told Automotive News in the fall quarter that the Korean automaker may soon make a significant investment in its plant in Montgomery, Ala. The company is considering adding two more lines to the plant, one for an SUV and one for a new pickup truck. Hyundai assembles two sedans and one SUV at the facility.

Ford eliminates shift in Louisville; those 500 workers will move to truck plant
Ford Motor Co. is eliminating the “C shift” (nights and weekends) at its Louisville Assembly Plant where it assembles the Escape model. The company will move 500 workers from the Louisville Assembly Plant to the Kentucky Truck Plant, which is also located in Louisville. The truck plant makes the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator models, as well as the F-Series Super Duty pickups.

Bosch to spend $45 million on South Carolina operations
Auto parts supplier Bosch is investing $45 million in its Anderson County, S.C., operations. No new jobs will be created at the plant where 1,200 are currently housed.

Toyo Tire expands Georgia plant
Japan-based Toyo Tire is investing $138 million in its tire plant in Bartow County, Ga. The company will also add 150 jobs to increase workers housed at the plant to 2,100. The expansion will add capacity to produce over 13 million passenger car tires per year.

India-based auto supplier expanding in South Carolina
Sundaram-Clayton Limited, a manufacturer of aluminum casting products for Mercedes-Benz Vans near Charleston, S.C., is expanding it campus in Ridgeville, S.C. The company will invest $40 million and hire 100 in the deal.

Advance Auto Parts relocating HQ to Raleigh
Advance Auto Parts announced in November it is relocating its headquarters from Roanoke, Va., to Raleigh, N.C. The company, which cited Raleigh’s tech-savvy workforce, is expected to hire 600 in the move.

Exports of South Carolina-made BMWs keeps dropping
Exports of BMWs made in Spartanburg County, S.C., continue to drop as tariffs put a bite into the German automaker. As a result, BMW officials plan to move more production of the company’s SUVs to its plant in China. It already makes the X3 there and might move production of the X5 model to its China plant. In October, BMW sent 13,702 vehicles to foreign markets through the Port of Charleston. That’s a 16 percent drop from the same month a year ago and the fourth consecutive monthly decline of exported vehicles. BMW officials have publicly stated that the U.S.-China trade war will cost the company $344 million this year.

Louisiana lands big chemical plant
Wanhua Chemical will invest $1.25 billion in a chemical manufacturing facility in St. James Parish, La. The plant will produce methylene diphenyl doisocyanate that is used to produce elastomers and foams that are then used in a variety of applications, including automotive parts and appliances. The deal will create 170 new jobs.

Swedish auto supplier picks South Carolina for first U.S. plant
Gnotec Group is investing $5.9 million to locate a plant in Orangeburg County, S.C. The deal will create 78 jobs specializing in the engineering and manufacturing of metal components for automotive and commercial vehicles’ body-in-white and chassis structures.

New Flyer opens $25 million plant expansion in Anniston, Ala.
New Flyer of America, North America’s largest transit bus manufacturer, has cut the ribbon on a $25 million renovation and expansion of its Anniston factory. It was the culmination of $50 million in improvements to the facility over the past two years, which now employs 750. New Flyer manufactures battery-electric transit buses.

Smyrna’s Nissan plant approved for $158 million in upgrades
Nissan’s Smyrna factory will continue to hire for a workforce of 8,400 and to make improvements to the plant. The automaker obtained authorization in November from the Rutherford County Industrial Development Board for two bonds totaling $158.1 million. The money will be used for upgrades including new machinery and equipment.

Bridgestone announces $40 million Tennessee expansion
On November 16, tire manufacturer Bridgestone announced a $40 million expansion of its Tennessee truck and bus tire facility. Bridgestone plans to add 32,000 square feet of manufacturing space and invest in new equipment at the plant in Morrison, Tenn., which would increase production capacity to 9,400 tires per day by the end of 2020.

Truform Manufacturing expands Dickson, Tenn., operations
Truform Manufacturing, an automotive and appliance supplier, will invest approximately $14 million to expand its operations in Dickson. The company plans to create nearly 90 jobs over the next five years.

Hwashin Investing $26 million in Alabama expansion
Auto supplier Hwashin America Corp. will expand its Greenville, Ala., manufacturing operation with a $26 million investment in new equipment and 50 new jobs. The company, which produces body components for Hyundai’s Alabama auto assembly plant, has been in expansion mode since arriving in Butler County in 2003.

South Korean auto supplier planning $5 million expansion in Alabama
A South Korean auto supplier operating in Tallapoosa County, Ala., is planning a $5 million expansion project at its manufacturing facility in Alexander City. C&J will expand a former Russell Corp. garment facility by 75,000 square feet. The company supplies automakers such as Hyundai, Nissan, Kia, Toyota and Honda with plastic molding. The investment is expected to add another 100 jobs to the facility’s staff of 300.

Fuel Total Systems chooses Mount Pleasant, Tenn., for manufacturing plant
Fuel Total Systems (FTS), a manufacturer of automotive plastic fuel tank systems, will locate its new manufacturing facility in Mount Pleasant. The manufacturer will create 150 new jobs and invest approximately $60.9 million in Maury County. FTS is based in Japan and also has operations in Kentucky.

next

November 2018

For real-time news on business, politics and economic development in the South, go to www.RandleReport.com. For all of the South’s announced projects, go to www.SB-D.com.

Job generation under Obama and Trump essentially the same. But that is about to change.

U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs are backfiring

Trade war costing Ford $1 billion

New Volvo plant in South Carolina caught in crosshairs of tariff war

Mass migration from California concerning to Texans

Trade war could relocate some BMW production from South Carolina to China

Auto, appliance supplier adding jobs in central Tennessee

Swedish-based auto supplier picks Orangeburg, S.C., for new plant

Korean auto supplier expands in Greenville, Ala.

Raytheon breaks ground on new radar facility in Mississippi

Booz Allen expanding in Oklahoma

Auto parts maker bringing 150 jobs and $60.9 million to Middle Tennessee

Pounds of Plastic chooses Owenton, Ky.

Continental Tire is hiring in Mississippi

Eissmann Group Automotive expands Alabama plant

Auto supplier to create 100 jobs in Troup County, Ga.

North Carolina approves incentives for tire maker’s $200 million project

Joint venture expands fiber production in Spartanburg, S.C.

Enforge expands manufacturing complex in Albemarle, N.C.

Poorest county” in Mississippi gets 60 new jobs

Auto parts supplier to add 250 Kentucky jobs

Mercedes breaks ground on Alabama battery plant

Volkswagen could add 1,000 jobs in Tennessee

Wheel Pros eyes York County, S.C.

Vintech Industries to open facility in Newnan, Ga.

South Carolina manufacturer expanding with 115 new jobs

Construction is complete on 350-job project in Botetourt, Va.

Real Truck chooses Ocala, Fla., for HQ

Auto supplier expands in Lee County, Miss.

November 2018

For real-time news on business, politics and economic development in the South, go to www.RandleReport.com. For all of the South’s announced projects, go to www.SB-D.com.

Job generation under Obama and Trump essentially the same. But that is about to change.
So far in President Trump’s first term, the average monthly job gains have been about 208,000. In President Obama’s last five years in office, job gains averaged 207,000 per month. Yet, in Obama’s first few years in office, there was a large unemployed labor pool. Not so today with an unemployment rate in October of 3.7 percent. There is no question that monthly job growth will slow in the next two years. It has to, and it has nothing to do with politics or who is president. It has to do with demographics. With millions of Baby Boomers aging out, and only about 70,000 workers turning working age (16) each year over the last three years, the pool of workers is getting much smaller. It’s just math. It is impossible to create 200,000 jobs per month when only about a third of that total of available workers are turning 16. The only way to replace those aging out or to increase the workforce is to embrace immigration, and we all know that is not going to happen.

U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs are backfiring
According to a report by Business Forward, prices in the U.S. for hot and cold-rolled steel have risen by 13.5 percent and 8.9 percent respectively since President Trump announced plans for steel and aluminum tariffs in February. As a result, U.S. manufacturers that use the metals in their manufacturing processes are paying 15.8 percent more for steel. While the tariffs have created jobs for steelmakers in the U.S., manufacturers using steel are cutting jobs. According to Business Forward, companies that buy steel in the U.S. employ more than 46 times more workers than companies that produce steel. The Tax Foundation has estimated that the tariffs and higher metal costs will cause GDP to fall by $148 billion, and lost jobs could increase by over 450,000 for manufacturers that use steel in their processes.

Trade war costing Ford $1 billion
Few U.S. companies have been blindsided by President Trump’s trade war with China and other parts of the world more than Michigan-based Ford. Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in a November story published by Bloomberg, that Trump’s tariffs on metal imports will cost the automaker $1 billion in lost profit by the end of 2019. This, despite the fact that Ford was already buying most of its steel and aluminum from U.S. producers.

New Volvo plant in South Carolina caught in crosshairs of tariff war
Volvo Cars is pivoting its production plans just months after opening a new $1.1 billion assembly plant in Berkeley County, S.C. The Swedish automaker, which is owned by China-based Geely Holding Group, canceled plans to export roughly half the S60 sedans it assembles in South Carolina to China. Volvo will also stop U.S. imports of its popular XC60 SUV from its factory in China. It will also reduce exports of its S90 sedan built in China. The moves are being made as the automaker finds itself in a pickle regarding President Trump’s tariffs on automobiles. President Trump imposed tariffs of 27.5 percent on Chinese auto imports and in a tit-for-tat move, China’s President Xi Jinping slapped a 40 percent tariff on American-built autos. In 2022, Volvo will assemble its XC90 SUV at its South Carolina plant and will focus on the American market for the S60s it is making there for now.

Mass migration from California concerning to Texans
By Michael Randle
It’s not just companies like Toyota, which cited incredibly high housing costs when it announced in April 2014 that it was relocating its U.S. headquarters from California to Plano, Texas, it is also families moving to Texas and other places in the South looking for work and a cheaper lifestyle. In fact, in 2016 alone, 70,000 Californians relocated to Texas, according to data from the U.S. Census.

The average price of a home was over $725,000 where Toyota was operating its largest North American headquarters in Southern California. In Plano, the average home costs around $325,000. Toyota relocated about 3,000 people from California and added another 1,200 workers at its new headquarters in Plano, which has been operational since move-in day in May of 2017.

Hundreds of companies have moved their operations and headquarters from California to Texas and other parts of the South. Nissan announced it was relocating its headquarters from Southern California to Franklin, Tenn., a Nashville suburb, in 2005. Thousands of people work at Nissan headquarters near Nashville, as well as the Japanese automaker’s largest North American plant in nearby Smyrna, Tenn.

Why have Toyota and Nissan relocated their headquarters to the South? It’s the same reason so many companies have migrated to the South over the last seven decades: operational costs, and even more important for the employer, the cost of living for their employees. Simply put, the two automakers’ employees could not afford to live close to their company’s headquarters in the Los Angeles region. Now employees of Toyota and Nissan can purchase a home at their new locations and a vacation home for about the same money as their California homes.

However, there are some in Texas — the leading destination for California migrants as well as migrating companies — who are worried that the state will morph into the Golden State when it comes to rising housing costs, traffic and rising taxes. In fact, many in Texas believe the state is experiencing the same growth California saw in the ’50s, ’60s and ‘70s, and that the growth will price out the state in time. Others in Texas support the growth, pointing to the quality of life in California that technically beats the Lone Star State’s quality of life in just about every measure including education.

Trade war could relocate some BMW production from South Carolina to China
In 2017, BMW exported 81,186 vehicles made in Greer, S.C., to China with an export value of over $2 billion. Now that export is threatened by President Trump’s tariffs on cars imported from China and China’s tariffs on vehicles exported from the U.S. BMW, which is expected to lose $344 million in revenue as a result of the tariffs, is considering moving some production of its South Carolina-made SUVs to its plant in China. Because of Chinese tariffs that countered Trump’s tariffs, BMW is expected to raise the price of its South Carolina-made X models by as much as seven percent.

Auto, appliance supplier adding jobs in central Tennessee
Truform Manufacturing is investing $14 million to expand its plant in Dickson County, Tenn. The deal will create 90 new jobs.

Swedish-based auto supplier picks Orangeburg, S.C., for new plant
Gnotec Group is locating a new manufacturing plant in Orangeburg County. The company specializes in chassis structures, and the new Volvo plant is located nearby. The $5.9 million plant will house 78 workers.

Korean auto supplier expands in Greenville, Ala.
Auto supplier Hwashin America is expanding its Greenville plant with a $26 million investment. The company supplies body components for Hyundai’s plant in Montgomery, Ala. The project will create 50 jobs.

Raytheon breaks ground on new radar facility in Mississippi
Defense contractor Raytheon broke ground on its new radar production plant in Forest, Miss., in November. Raytheon is investing $100 million in the expansion that will create dozens of jobs.

Booz Allen expanding in Oklahoma
Booz Allen Hamilton is adding 240 jobs at its facilities in Oklahoma. The company will add software developers, data scientists and cybersecurity engineers at its locations in Oklahoma City and elsewhere in the state.

Auto parts maker bringing 150 jobs and $60.9 million to Middle Tennessee
Fuel Total Systems (FTS) officials recently announced plans for a new manufacturing facility in Maury County that will create 150 new jobs. FTS plans to build a 110,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Cherry Glen Industrial Park as part of a $60.9 million investment.

Pounds of Plastic chooses Owenton, Ky.
Canada-based Pounds of Plastic, a supplier to the automotive and general manufacturing industries, plans to invest more than $4.1 million and create 54 full-time jobs in Owenton.

Continental Tire is hiring in Mississippi
Continental Tire has begun hiring and training its first employees in advance of its $1.45 billion plant in Clinton making commercial truck, bus and transport vehicle tires by late 2019. The company is hiring about 30 shop-floor operators through the end of the year, with plans to hire a total of 2,500 people by 2028.

Eissmann Group Automotive expands Alabama plant
A Germany-based firm that specializes in car interiors, trim components, shifter modules and other parts, Eissmann Group Automotive has completed a $14.5 million expansion at its assembly plant in Pell City, Ala. The project is adding 200 workers to the company’s St. Clair County workforce.

Auto supplier to create 100 jobs in Troup County, Ga.
SEWON America, a supplier to the automotive industry, will create 100 jobs and invest $160 million in expanding its North American headquarters and manufacturing plant in LaGrange. New jobs will include positions in supervision, production and warehouse operations.

North Carolina approves incentives for tire maker’s $200 million project
Bridgestone could get up to another $30 million from taxpayers if it keeps 2,000 jobs and invests at least $150 million in improvements within a six-year period at its eastern North Carolina factory. A state panel approved grants of up to $3 million a year for 10 years to Bridgestone Americas, which is updating its Wilson tire plant.
Joint venture expands fiber production in Spartanburg, S.C.
Huvis Indorama Advanced Materials, a joint venture between Thialand’s Indorama Ventures and South Korea-based Huvis Corporation, will invest $48 million to launch new manufacturing operations at Auriga Polymers’ campus in Spartanburg County. The new operations will manufacture low melting fiber commonly used in automotive and industrial composites.

Enforge expands manufacturing complex in Albemarle, N.C.
Enforge, a manufacturer of steel-formed suspension and steering assemblies for automotive companies, will invest $4 million to expand its production plant 41 miles east of Charlotte. The company plans to create 44 new jobs.

Poorest county” in Mississippi gets 60 new jobs
Thanks to the expansion of a manufacturing plant in Holmes County, Miss., 60 new jobs will be provided to people in what is called the poorest county in the state. Hunter Engineering is spending $8 million to expand its facility to produce wheel alignment and balancing systems, brake service equipment and other auto repair equipment. The expansion also includes a 500-square-foot workforce training area to support continuous employee development.

Auto parts supplier to add 250 Kentucky jobs
Metalsa announced plans to expand its plant in Elizabethtown, Ky. Metalsa, based in Mexico, is a supplier to automotive manufacturers, and its Elizabethtown facility is one of the largest operations throughout the company.

Mercedes breaks ground on Alabama battery plant
At a groundbreaking ceremony, Mercedes-Benz officials formally marked the start of construction on a 2 million-square-foot plant in Bibb County, Ala., that will supply battery packs for the automaker’s Alabama-made electric vehicles. The battery plant is a key component in a $1 billion Mercedes expansion announced in September 2017. The plan calls for Mercedes to begin producing electric SUVs at its assembly complex in Vance, about seven miles away, at the beginning of the next decade.

Volkswagen could add 1,000 jobs in Tennessee
VW officials say they plan to add a third shift to the automaker’s Tennessee plant, a move that could add more than 1,000 workers. The new hires will help produce the five-seat Atlas SUV next year. Hiring is expected to start this year and continue in 2019.

Wheel Pros eyes York County, S.C.
Wheel Pros, a designer and distributor of aftermarket wheels, plans to establish new manufacturing and distribution operations in the former American Eagle Wheel plant in York County. The $13.9 million investment is expected to result in 275 new jobs.

Vintech Industries to open facility in Newnan, Ga.
Michigan-based Vintech Industries, which makes metal and plastic products including molding, seals and assemblies for auto manufacturers, has purchased a building in Newnan where it plans to begin production in the first quarter of 2019. The project is expected to create 30 jobs initially and eventually more than double that figure.

South Carolina manufacturer expanding with 115 new jobs
MAHLE Behr, a supplier of air conditioning and radiator assemblies, will be expanding its manufacturing operations in Charleston County. The company’s $36 million investment is projected to create 115 new jobs.

Construction is complete on 350-job project in Botetourt, Va.
Construction is complete on the ELDOR Automotive Plant, and the manufacturer is bringing hundreds of new jobs to the Botetourt area. The Italy-based company, which make pieces for ignition systems and other parts, is opening it’s first North American plant in the Roanoke Valley.

Real Truck chooses Ocala, Fla., for HQ
Real Truck, an online truck accessory retailer, will locate its global headquarters in Ocala. The company will undertake a capital investment of $2 million and create 77 jobs.

Auto supplier expands in Lee County, Miss.
Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi (APMM) is increasing production in Lee County, investing $100 million and creating 50 jobs. A Tier 1 automotive supplier located in Guntown, APMM produces stamped auto parts, body weld parts and plastic parts. The expansion accommodates increased production for the 2019 Toyota Corolla.

next

October 2018

For real-time news on business, politics and economic development in the South, go to www.RandleReport.com. For all of the South’s announced projects, go to www.SB-D.com.

If you are set to buy a new car, buy it now, say experts
New tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump on auto parts from China will not only impact automaker profits and cut sales, the costs are going straight to your wallet. Trump’s tariffs on over 100 imported Chinese auto parts — from tires to brake pads to batteries — will increase the cost of vehicles made in the U.S. “It’s going to be felt by Americans and it’s going to be a big deal,” said Peter Nagle, senior analyst at IHS Markit.

Wheel manufacturer investing in South Carolina facility
Wheel Pros, a manufacturer of branded aftermarket wheels, is investing almost $14 million in a facility in York County, S.C. The project will create 275 new jobs.

Auto supplier expands in South Carolina
MAHLE Behr Charleston, a supplier of air conditioning and radiator assemblies for the automotive industry, is investing $36 million in its plant in Charleston County, S.C. The deal will create 115 new jobs.

Toyota builds first next-gen engine at Alabama plant
Toyota’s Huntsville, Ala., plant produced its first next-generation four-cylinder engine in September. The engine was made possible after a $106 million investment to prepare the facility for advanced production. The next-gen project replaced the entire four-cylinder engine line at the plant. The facility is the only one in the world where Toyota makes four-cylinder, V-6 and V-8s.

Auto parts supplier expands in Mississippi
Automotive supplier Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi is increasing production capacity at its plant in Lee County, Miss. The company is a Tier 1 supplier of stamped parts to Toyota’s assembly plant in nearby Blue Springs, Miss. The $100 million project will create 50 jobs.

Volvo at full production at new South Carolina assembly plant
Volvo is now at full production of its newly designed S60 sedan at its new plant in Berkeley County, S.C. The first S60 models will arrive at U.S. dealerships later this year. Global distribution will begin in the spring of 2019. There are about 2,000 employees at the plant, with 2,000 more slated to be hired when the Chinese-owned, Sweden-based automaker builds another line for XC90 SUV.

Hunter Engineering expands Mississippi operations
Automotive service equipment manufacturer Hunter Engineering will invest $8 million to expand operations in Durant, Miss. The company plans to create 60 jobs.

Mercedes supplier hiring 250 in Alabama
Lear, a supplier of seating and electrical systems to the Mercedes plant in Vance, is hiring 250 entry-level operators.

ZF plans $40 million, 60-job expansion in Gainesville, Ga.
German car parts maker ZF is investing more than $40 million to expand its plant in Gainesville. ZF will add three new assembly lines and 60 new jobs.

New Flyer cuts ribbon on $30 million facility in Bullitt County, Ky.
New Flyer of America in Shepherdsville recently unveiled its $30 million transit bus and motor coach parts manufacturing facility that will create up to 550 jobs.

Reich plans $10.9 million investment in Arden, N.C.
Reich, a precision vehicle parts manufacturer, plans to invest $10.9 million into its facility, adding 15 new jobs to its workforce in the process.

One hundred jobs, $72 million coming to Newton County, Ga.
Japan-based Nisshinbo Automotive Manufacturing (NAMI), a manufacturer of environmentally friendly brake pads, will create 100 jobs and invest $72 million in an expansion of its Covington facility. New jobs at the facility will include positions in production and administration.

Mercedes opens first Sprinter factory in the U.S.
In September, Mercedes opened its first Sprinter van production plant in the U.S. In addition to cutting the ribbon at the $500 million factory in North Charleston, S.C., the company announced an order for 20,000 of the vans from Amazon. The facility employs 900 workers.

Volvo Car University coming to South Carolina
Volvo Car USA plans to build Volvo Car University at its Berkeley County campus later this year. The university will focus on workforce training and leadership development for North America.

New jobs for South Carolina after $5.8 million automotive expansion
By 2020, JTEKT North America plans to fill at least 100 new positions as a part of its $5.8 million expansion on the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research.

next

September 2018

September 2018

For real-time news on business, politics and economic development in the South, go to www.RandleReport.com. For all of the South’s announced projects, go to www.SB-D.com.

Nissan to invest $170 million to upgrade Tennessee and Mississippi plants
Nashville-based Nissan North America plans to invest $170 million at its two plants in the Southern Auto Corridor. The upgrades are being done to support the Nissan Altima model that is built at both facilities.

Manufacturer setting up shop near Honda’s Alabama plant
Lohr North America, a maker of car carriers, is converting an existing building in Lincoln, Ala., for a new plant. The French company will hire 140 workers in the deal.

France-based auto supplier to locate new operation in Middle Tennessee
Faurecia Interior Systems announced it will locate a $30 million plant in Maury County, Tenn. The plant will house 143 workers.

Michelin to reopen Earthmover tire production plant in South Carolina
A Michelin plant that was built in 2012 and idled in 2016, is expected to be back up running soon in Starr, S.C. The tire maker is expected to hire 100 workers for the reopening.

Auto parts supplier adding jobs in Kentucky
Webasto, a sunroof manufacturer, announced in August it will invest $15 million in its panorama roof systems line at its plant in Lexington, Ky. The deal will create 183 jobs.

Daimler delivers 50,000th Freightliner from North Carolina plant
Germany-based Daimler AG, the company that assembles the Freightliner Cascadia, has delivered the 50,000th model of the truck since production began 19 months ago at its plant in Rowan County, N.C. Daimler Trucks North America has garnered about 40 percent of the market share of Class 6 and Class 8 long-haul trucks.

Toyota’s Kentucky plant unveils next generation 2019 Lexus ES 350
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky unveiled the next generation Lexus ES 350 sedan model that is built at the Japanese automaker’s plant in Georgetown. Over 150,000 hours of training was done to build the new ES 350 that included sensory training that teaches workers on the assembly line to feel for defections that could be as small as a strand of hair. The plant will also build the F Sport high-performance model. The Kentucky plant is the only place in the world outside of Japan where Lexus models are produced.

South Carolina-made BMWs now cost more for Chinese buyers
China is a popular destination for South Carolina-made BMW SUVs. However, in the wake of China’s 40 percent tax on U.S. car imports (in a retaliatory move, China added a 25 percent tariff on American vehicles), BMW will raise the price of its vehicles by up to seven percent.

Auto parts distributor to expand operations in Tennessee
Revel Enterprises will invest $2.3 million to expand its auto parts distribution facility in Paris, Tenn. The deal will create 64 jobs.

Auto and truck parts manufacturer hiring in Mississippi
SMW Manufacturing, which opened in Oxford, Miss., in 2017, is expanding after starting the project with 50 jobs. Located in a former Caterpillar facility, the company makes parts for heavy truck, automotive and mining industrial markets. The $4 million deal will create 25 jobs.

next