May 2018

For real-time news on business, politics and economic development in the South, go to For all economic development projects announced in the South, go to

South Korean manufacturer to build new plant in West Tennessee

Dong-A USA, an automotive and appliance supplier, will invest $13 million in a new plant in Martin,Tenn. The South Korean company makes rubber and plastic components. The deal will create 200 new jobs.

Big automotive parts supplier opens Alabama plant

Samvardhana Motherson Peguform (SMP) has officially opened its new 700,000-square-foot plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The company has invested $150 million in the facility and the plant already houses 320 workers. Plans are to hire up to 1,000.

General Motors returns to three shifts at Tennessee plant

GM will add a third shift that it took down in November at its plant in Spring Hill, Tenn. The third shift will add about 1,000 jobs. GM added the shift because of high demand for its GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5 models.

Plant coming to Vidalia, La. 

Syrah Resources announced in the spring it will build a $25 million graphite processing facility in Vidalia, La. The plant will produce graphite anode materials for batteries in electric vehicles and other products. The Australian company will hire 55 workers in the deal.

Toyota creating hundreds of jobs at Mississippi plant

Toyota announced in the spring quarter it is investing $170 million at its Blue Springs, Miss., assembly plant to add capacity. The Japanese automaker builds the Corolla model there. The deal will create 400 jobs.

Alabama sees record 15,000 new manufacturing jobs in 2017

In calendar year 2017, 15,465 manufacturing jobs were created in Alabama with a record investment total of $4.41 billion. The automotive and aerospace sectors led the way followed by forest products and food production.

Constuction begins on Mazda-Toyota plant in Alabama on October 1

Constuction on Huntsville, Ala.’s $1.6 billion Mazda-Toyota plant is scheduled to start on October 1, according to Gov. Kay Ivey. The plant is expected to house 4,000 workers.

Chinese tire plant gets bigger

Last year, China-based Triangle Tire announced a $582 million, 800-employee tire plant at the Kingsboro CSX Select Megasite in Edgecombe County, N.C. In the spring quarter, company officials raised those numbers to just over $1 billion and between 1,100 and 1,200 jobs at the unbuilt plant.

Commercial truck facility adding jobs in Kentucky

E-Z Pack Refuse Hauling Solutions, a maker of commercial trucks, is investing $6.85 million in its plant in Harrison County, Ky. The deal will create about 100 jobs.

Port of Mobile signs MOU to ship vehicles 

The Alabama State Port Authority is partnering with a joint venture from South America to build and operate a facility that enables vehicles to be driven on and off of ships at the Port of Mobile. The joint venture is called AutoMobile International Terminal. An automobile handling center at the Port of Mobile would clearly be an advantage to Alabama’s three operating auto assembly plants — Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Honda — as well as the Mazda-Toyota joint venture assembly plant in Huntsville that begins construction in October. The new terminal could create 600 or more jobs.

Autocar opens $120 million plant in Birmingham

Autocar, a manufacturer of concrete trucks and garbage trucks, has opened it $120 million plant in Birmingham at a 1.3 million-square-foot facility, a former Meadowcraft Complex. The company currently employs 746 workers.

Auto parts supplier plans South Carolina plant

Germany-based Paul Bippus GmbH, a manufacturer of precision parts, is opening a plant in Summerville, S.C. The $16 million facility will supply parts to the nearby Robert Bosch plant. The deal will create 45 jobs.

Nucor completes latest Arkansas expansion

In the spring quarter, Nucor Steel Arkansas completed its $230 million cold mill expansion. The company makes steel for the automotive industry near Blytheville, Ark., and is one of the largest employers in Mississippi County. About 100 jobs will be added at the mill.

Tire maker joint venture picks Atlanta for HQ

A new joint venture between two global tire makers is locating it headquarters in Atlanta. Goodyear and Bridgestone have created TireHub, a tire distribution joint venture. The new company will attempt to meet the growing demand for larger rim diameter premium tires. The new headquarters in Atlanta will house 150 workers.

Volvo’s South Carolina plant nears opening

Volvo is nearing the opening of its plant in Berkeley County, S.C. Production is expected to begin this summer. Like everyone else, Volvo is struggling to fill its employment goals at the plant, which at its height will be 4,000 workers at the $1.2 billion facility.

Big deal in Northeast Tennessee

Belgian-based Van Hool NV, a manufacturer of buses, coaches and industrial vehicles, will establish its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Morristown, Tenn. The family-owned company plans to invest $47 million to build a 500,000-square-foot facility in Morristown’s East Tennessee Progress Center. About 640 jobs will be created in the deal.

Two foreign companies adding 100-plus jobs in Charlotte region

Tokyo-based Yokohama Tire will open a research and development facility in Cornelius, adding 56 jobs and nearly $5.9 million in investment, while Kurz, a hot stamping and coating technology company based in Furth, Germany, will build a new $18 million North American headquarters in Huntersville and hire 90 new positions by 2022.

ATLASBX locating first U.S. manufacturing facility in Tennessee

ATLASBX  will locate its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Clarksville, Tenn. The automotive battery manufacturer will invest $75 million and create approximately 200 jobs in Montgomery County.

Manufacturer Dhollandia building $30 million North Carolina facility

Belgium-based manufacturer Dhollandia broke ground in Gaston County, N.C., on what will become the company’s first manufacturing facility in the United States. The new 160,000-square-foot facility, which will manufacture hydraulic lift gates for trucks, is expected to create up to 200 new jobs.

Auto supplier Yorozu opens Jasper, Ala., plant

Auto parts maker Yorozu recently marked the grand opening of its $110 million manufacturing plant in Walker County, where hiring has been ramping up and will continue to grow to 300. The Tier 1 automotive supplier produces metal stamped suspension components for automakers including Honda, Toyota and Nissan.

Fitzgerald Industries opens Kentucky plant

Fitzgerald Industries II, which manufactures aluminum dump-truck beds, will locate in the former Belden plant in Monticello, Ky. The company plans to invest $6 million and create 250 full-time jobs.

Adient to invest $10.8 million in Tennessee

Adient will invest $10.8 million in its Lexington facility and create 200 new jobs. The automotive seating and interior systems manufacturer plans to upgrade its facility by installing equipment and expanding production in Henderson County, Tenn.


Author: Michael Randle