Southern Auto Corridor News

June 2021

GM will support UAW at its two new battery plants

In May, General Motors announced it will support union efforts to organize at the two U.S. electric vehicle battery factories that it’s building in Ohio and Tennessee with its joint-venture partner Ultium LLC. The union is working to create a wage of about $31 per hour at the two plants.

 

Hyundai to invest billions in electric vehicles in the Southern Automotive Corridor

South Korean sister automakers Hyundai and Kia will invest $7.4 billion in their electric vehicle transition in the U.S., the companies announced in the spring. Hyundai operates its only U.S. plant in Montgomery, Ala., and Kia operates its only U.S. plant 80 miles away in West Point, Ga.

 

Nissan begins assembling new Pathfinder Pathfinder model at Tennessee plant

Japanese automaker Nissan began the assembly of its new 2022 Pathfinder SUV model at its plant in Smyrna, Tenn. The first model rolled off the assembly line in May with its powertrain being built nearly in Decherd, Tenn. More than 7,000 workers are housed at the plant in Smyrna, east of Nashville.

 

Hyundai’s Alabama plant helps company to best ever sales month in March

South Korean automaker Hyundai’s sales soared 153 percent over March 2020 sales to over 72,000 vehicles, its best U.S. month ever. Hyundai’s only U.S. assembly plant is in Montgomery, Ala.

 

Auto battery deal saves 2,600 Georgia jobs

Electric vehicle parts competitors SK Innovation (SKI) and LG Energy Solution (LGES) have reached an agreement in an ongoing dispute on trade secrets that will preserve 2,600 jobs in Northeast Georgia. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in favor of LGES on Feb. 10, after the company accused SKI of stealing 22 of its trade secrets. The ruling banned SKI from importing battery parts and components for 10 years, with some exceptions. SKI has agreed to pay LGES $1.8 billion in lump-sum payments and royalties. Both companies agreed to withdraw pending litigation and not seek enforcement of patent or intellectual rights for 10 years.

 

Elon Musk recruits employees at new Austin plant via Twitter

Entrepreneur Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla, took to Twitter in April to recruit employees at the new Gigafactory that will build Tesla’s first cybertruck near the airport in Austin, Texas. Musk wants to recruit 10,000 employees to the new facility, twice what was originally announced.

 

There is a new richest person in Texas

Move over Alice Walton of WalMart. . .Elon Musk, who has recently moved to Austin, is now the richest person in Texas. Musk made a highly publicized move to Austin last year from California. Much of Musk’s newest developments are now in Texas with his Gigafactory in Austin to the Starbase rocket launch area in Boca Chica, Texas on the beach near Brownsville.

 

Magna Mirrors bringing 300 new jobs with $31 million factory build in Duncan, S.C.

Magna Mirrors has announced construction of a new $31 million, 170,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Duncan. The facility is expected to employ 300 people to produce high-tech vehicle mirrors with cameras and sensor technology.

 

Korean automotive manufacturer opening first U.S. facility in Jackson County, Ga.

Duckyang, a supplier of automotive battery modules and energy storage systems to SK Battery America, will invest $10 million in opening its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Braselton, Ga. The new facility will create 285 jobs in Jackson County.

 

EV charging giant opening HQ in Atlanta

A Netherlands-based supplier of charging stations for electric vehicles, Heliox, will set up a North American headquarters in Atlanta, hiring 70. North America is expected to become the largest market for e-mobility in the next 5 years.

 

PACCAR Parts breaks ground on Louisville distribution center

PACCAR Parts, a distributor of aftermarket parts for heavy- and medium-duty trucks, trailers, buses and engines, broke ground in May on a $52.2 million, state-of-the-art parts distribution center in Louisville. The investment is expected to create 80 full-time jobs.

 

Mercedes suppliers foresee 3,200 new jobs for the Tuscaloosa area

Regarding potential job growth at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, the automaker predicts its suppliers are looking to bring 3,200 jobs to the Tuscaloosa County, Ala., area within the next two to three years as it expands into the electric vehicle market.