December 2017

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Bosch expanding South Carolina plant
Bosch Group is investing $152 million in an expansion in Anderson, S.C. The company, which will hire 130, makes electric components for the automotive industry at the plant.

German supplier to locate plant in Alabama
German auto supplier SAS Automotive Systems, an automotive module assembler, is launching an operation that will support Mercedes-Benz and its plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The project will create 170 jobs.

Korean auto supplier opens second plant in Montgomery
Korean auto supplier, Guyoung Tech USA, plans to employ 130 people at a second North American plant in Montgomery, Ala. The project represents an investment of $7.5 million and the company will supply the local Hyundai assembly plant.

Parts distribution center to open in South Texas
Cardone Industries is opening a new automotive parts distribution center in Harlingen, Texas. The deal will create 515 jobs.

Nucor to build new plant in Missouri
Charlotte-based Nucor, the most active steelmaker in the South, plans to build a $250 million rebar micro mill in Sedalia, Mo., located 90 miles east of Kansas City. The company considered other locations in Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina and Florida for the plant. The factory is expected to house 255 workers. Nucor also announced it is looking to build another micro mill somewhere in the Southeast.

A new U.S. plant for Nissan?
Japanese automaker Nissan is exploring a new U.S., plant, according to its chairman, “At some point, we may need it,” said Jose Munoz, chairman of Nissan North America in an article published by Automotive News. Munoz said that its plants in Tennessee and Mississippi are “maxed out.”

Equipment installation underway at new Mercedes van plant in South Carolina
In 2015, Mercedes-Benz Vans announced it would build a new production facility for its Sprinter Van model in Ladson, S.C., near Charleston. The plant is nearing completion as equipment installation — including 182 robots — began in the fall quarter. Mercedes is expected to hire about 1,000 workers for the plant that have been trained at other Sprinter Van plants in Australia and Spain.

Bus manufacturer setting up shop in Kentucky
New Flyer of America, a manufacturer of transit buses, is setting up a 300,000-square-foot parts fabrication facility in Shepherdsville, Ky. The project is expected to house up to 550 workers.

Nissan to export Mississippi-made Titan pickups to China
The Nissan Titan has only a 1.7 percent share of the large U.S. pickup truck market as of October. Capacity of the truck at the Japanese automaker’s plant near Jackson, Miss., is limited, but whatever is left off of U.S. sales will now be exported to China, where the vehicle is popular. Other potential export markets for the Titan include Australia, Russia and the Middle East. As of the end of October, the full-sized Titan had sold about 40,000 models, which is about the number of Ford F-series pickups sold in three weeks in the U.S.

Big German automotive supplier picks Bama
German Tier 1 supplier Bocar, is investing $115 million in a new plant in Huntsville, Ala. The company will break ground on the facility next year and production will begin in 2020. The project is expected to create 300 jobs.

Automotive supplier to establish new plant in Franklin, Ky.
South Korea-based Taeyang Metal Industrial Company, a manufacturer of fasteners and cold-rolled steel products for the automotive industry, will establish a plant in Franklin. The $15.6 million facility, which will house 76 full-time jobs, is the first for the company in the U.S.

Aluminum plant opens $400 million Kentucky expansion
In the fall quarter, Belgium-based Aleris Corp. opened its $400 million expansion in Lewisport, Ky. The expansion will add new capacity to produce aluminum auto body sheet for the automotive industry. The company houses about 1,000 workers at the mill.

Mexican auto supplier expanding in Alabama
Nemak USA, a Mexican aluminum auto parts manufacturer, is investing $34 million in its plant in Talladega County, Ala. The company makes engine blocks and structural components. The deal will create 67 jobs.

Auto parts supplier expanding in Tennessee
Magnum Manufacturing, a company that supplies metal stamping, seat frames and doors for the automotive sector, is investing $2 million to expand its plant in Erin, Tenn. The move will create 50 jobs.

How many people do Japanese companies employ in the U.S.?
President Trump ruffled some feathers when he said during a visit to Tokyo in the fall quarter, “try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over.” Well, they do. A quick fact check shows that Japanese companies employ more than 850,000 in the U.S. (almost all of them are American citizens). And the Japanese pay well, too, more than U.S.-based companies on average and more than any other country other than Germany in the U.S.

North Carolina megasite adds 370 acres, awaits Toyota-Mazda
Officials with the Greensboro-Randolph County Megasite have added 370 acres, bumping up the site to 1,900 acres. Reports indicate the site is in the running for the prospective Toyota-Mazda project.

Mercedes-Benz will invest another $1 billion in Alabama plant

Mercedes-Benz announced in the fall quarter it will invest another $1 billion in its Vance, Ala., plant to assemble electric SUVs for the German automaker’s EQ brand. As part of the expansion, Mercedes will build a new one million square foot battery plant next to the assembly plant. This latest expansion will add 600 jobs.


Author: Michael Randle