Southern Auto Corridor News

February 2021

Alabama’s auto industry will have some legs this year and next

As many as 6,000 jobs are expected to be created in 2021 in Alabama’s auto industry, and Alabama’s automotive industry is assured of a fantastic 2021 and 2022. Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. The new $2.3 billion, 4,000-employee Mazda Toyota plant in Huntsville is expected to open this year or early 2022.
  2. Mercedes-Benz is closer to starting electric vehicle manufacturing at its assembly plant in Tuscaloosa and Bibb counties in Alabama.
  3. Alabama made 11 different vehicle models in 2020. That will increase to 15 this year, including two new vehicles at Hyundai’s plant in Montgomery, Ala.

 

Integrated Fiber Solutions to expand plant in Rome, Ga.

Integrated Fiber Solutions announced a $30.2 million, three-phase expansion of its plant in Rome, including the addition of approximately 40 employees over the course of the next five years. The company manufactures synthetic yarns for the carpet, rug and automotive industries.

 

SGL Carbon expands Arkansas operations to produce components for EV batteries

A manufacturer of graphite and composite materials is expanding its operations in Arkadelphia, Ark., to produce components for electric vehicle battery enclosures. said the $4.5 million expansion will create 35 new jobs over the next three years.

 

Alabama auto supplier adding 162 jobs

An auto supplier facilitating Mercedes-Benz’s plan to produce electric vehicles is expanding in Tuscaloosa County. Schnellecke Logistics Alabama will move to a new building near the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International automobile plant in Vance, Ala., and plans to add 162 jobs.

 

EV battery maker to build plant in Tennessee, add 287 jobs

An electric car battery manufacturing company is planning to invest $220 million in a new Tennessee plant that is expected to create 287 new jobs. Microvast plans to renovate and expand a Clarksville facility to build battery cells, modules and packs.

 

Israeli manufacturer to build $2 million facility, create 55 jobs in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

JANSTEEL, an Israeli heavy-equipment manufacturing company, will spend $2 million to expand its operations in Port St. Lucie. The company was founded in 2004, and specializes in the design and manufacture of transport products such truck bodies.

 

Finnish tire maker adding 400 jobs in Tennessee

Tire manufacturer Nokian plans to nearly double the workforce at its facility in East Tennessee in coming months, part of a plan to add more than a hundred new jobs and significantly increase production. The company expects to add 150 positions that will allow the company to go from two shifts to four as demand for tires increases in the North American market.

 

Auto supplier bringing 240 jobs to Chattanooga

Enterprise South Industrial Park in Chattanooga will become home to a new auto manufacturing plant in the summer of 2021. Sesé Industrial Services, a Spanish manufacturer, announced that it would begin new operations in the park, create 240 new jobs, and invest $42 million by 2022. The new plant will assemble axle components for Volkswagen Chattanooga’s first electric Atlas SUV.

 

Horton opens new facility in Oconee County, S.C., with 125 jobs

Oconee County leaders gathered recently for the grand opening of a new business focused on engine cooling solutions for on- and off-highway vehicles. Horton’s manufacturing facility will be adding 125 jobs to the area.

 

Auto supplier plant bringing hundreds of jobs to Meriwether County, Ga.

KB Autosys is set to bring a multi-million-dollar manufacturing project to Georgia. The brake pad supplier will spend $38 million to build its first U.S. advanced manufacturing facility in Meriwether County. The project will create around 180 jobs.

 

EV charging network for Tennessee

The Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation announced a partnership that will create a statewide charging network for electric vehicles. There are currently 24 charging stations for electric vehicle across the state. The new agreement will add 50 new locations — or one station every 50 miles — along Tennessee’s interstates and highways.

 

Pasco County, Fla., gains two new employers

Ensurem, an insurance broker and technology provider for retirement-age clients, is investing $500,000 to upgrade existing retail space that will be home to 200 employees. Santander, a consumer finance company focused on vehicle financing and third-party servicing, is investing a minimum of $12 million and will create 875 new jobs.

 

German auto supplier hiring in Franklin, Ky.

German-owned Fritz Winter North America announced it is adding a third shift and about 50 jobs to its manufacturing plant in Franklin. The 340,000-square-foot plant, which now operates two shifts and has a workforce of about 280, opened in June 2017, making disc brake rotors for the automotive industry.

 

Auto parts supplier Valeo expanding to Bessemer, Ala., with $5 million facility

Valeo North America, a top-10 auto parts supplier in the world, announced plans to expand into Bessemer with a $5 million facility that is expected to create 70 jobs. Valeo will be occupying an existing facility in Bessemer and is expected to be at full production by June.

 

Tesla hiring 500 in Florida

Tesla is hiring 500 positions in Florida. CareerSource Tampa Bay partnered with Tesla to host a virtual hiring event on January 27, in hopes of filling openings for both Tesla’s solar and automotive positions.

 

Scoop: GM will build electric crossovers for Honda and Acura in Tennessee

GM will apparently build two battery-electric crossovers — one sold as a Honda and another sold as an Acura — within the next four years. According to two anonymous people “familiar with the plans,” Honda’s GM-built EV will be assembled at the American automaker’s plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, the same factory that puts the Chevy Blazer and Equinox together. That crossover will reportedly enter production in 2023. Meanwhile, the Acura will reportedly be built in Spring Hill, Tenn., alongside the Cadillac Lyriq, starting in 2024.