December 2019

December 2019

Mercedes to build luxury SUV at its Alabama plant
Mercedes-Benz is introducing a vehicle that combines the luxury features of its flagship S-Class sedan with the GLS full-size SUV as part of a push to increase profits through sales of upscale cars. The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 will hit showrooms in the second half of next year, the Daimler AG brand reported. The vehicle, which is powered by a V-8 engine including a 48-volt hybrid system, will be built at Daimler’s factory in Tuscaloosa. Optional features include folding tables and a refrigerator with space for champagne bottles.

Goodyear to consolidate Atlanta facilities to Coweta County, Ga.
In June 2016, the former Orchard Hills Golf Course property on Georgia Highway 16 in Newnan’s southeast side was rezoned as a major industrial and commercial site. In November, Goodyear Tire and Rubber announced it would build a 1.5 million-square-foot facility that will consolidate its Atlanta area distribution centers. The $140 million project will create 250 jobs in Coweta County.

Automotive supplier announces new plant for Georgia
In the fall quarter, Nippon Light Metal Georgia announced it will create 110 jobs while investing $50 million in building a new manufacturing facility in Adairsville. The plant is expected to be operational in 2022. Nippon Light Metal Georgia specializes in aluminum products for the automotive industry.

Megasite in Montgomery, Ala., receives certification
The Montgomery Mega Site has received an Alabama AdvantageSite designation. The AdvantageSite program requires that community economic development organizations provide documentation specific to a proposed industrial site, including a set of standard data related to ownership/control, environmental and geotechnical conditions, and infrastructure status. Sites must also meet size, zoning and accessibility requirements. The Montgomery Mega Site is a 1,842-acre site located approximately 2.5 miles (5 minutes) from Interstate 65. The site can be accessed by Hyundai Blvd or U.S. Highway 331. The eastern boundary of the main site and the western boundary of the out-parcel are served by rail. All utilities are at the site.

Hyundai to build pickup at Montgomery, Ala., plant
Korean automaker Hyundai is entering the U.S. pickup truck market by building the vehicle at its plant in Montgomery, Ala. The company will invest $410 million to add the line and create 200 jobs. Expected to go into production in 2021, Hyundai has billed the model, called Santa Cruz, a “compact utility vehicle,” but it features an open truck bed.

California electronics manufacturer to locate in Texas
All Quality & Services is moving into an existing facility in Garland, Texas following an $800,000 renovation. The company makes computer components such as modules, modems, semiconductors and circuit boards that are used in medical, automotive, mobile telecommunications, gaming, industrial and other industries. The deal will create 150 jobs.

Volkswagen will build its first electric vehicle in Tennessee
German automaker Volkswagen announced in the fall it will build its first electric vehicle at its plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. The $800 million project to build another line will create 1,000 jobs. The expansion also includes a 564,000-square-foot addition to the body shop and a battery pack assembly facility.

Kia celebrates 10 years of production in West Georgia
South Korea-based Kia Motors celebrated 10 years of vehicle production in West Point, Ga. The plant is the first for Kia in the U.S., and supports more than 15,000 jobs in West Georgia. It assembled the first vehicle in November 2009 and currently has a capacity of building 340,000 vehicles per year.

Supplier base for Mazda Toyota growing in Northern Alabama
The joint-venture auto plant project between Mazda and Toyota is seeing a large supply chain investment in the Huntsville area. Already, five suppliers to the plant have announced projects worth $440 million and that is expected to increase substantially before the assembly plant opens in 2021. Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA will open with a capacity for 150,000 vehicles to be built in the first year.

Continental AG opens Mississippi tire plant
In November, Germany-based Continental AG opened its tire plant in Central Mississippi. The $1.45 billion facility on 900 acres is one of the largest projects ever announced in the Jackson, Miss., region. The plant is expected to house 2,500 workers within the next nine years.

Topre America plans $63 million expansion in Smyrna, Tenn.
Topre America will add 51 advanced manufacturing jobs to its automotive stamping operation near the Nissan manufacturing plant. The new jobs are part of a $63 million capital investment and the fourth expansion by the Japanese-based company in five years.

O’Reilly Auto Parts distribution center creating 380 jobs in Horn Lake, Miss.
Retailer O’Reilly Auto Parts is locating a distribution center in Horn Lake by retrofitting a 580,000-square-foot facility the company purchased in February. The project will create 380 jobs.

Ford planning $1 billion investment in Louisville operations
Ford Motor Co. agrees to invest more than $1 billion in its Louisville operations in a proposed contract with United Auto Workers. The agreement includes a commitment from Ford to create 8,500 new or secured jobs as well as invest $6 billion in products across its operations. One billion of that investment will come at the Kentucky Truck Plant to support an all-new Super Duty F-Series truck as well as all-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator vehicles. Another $100 million in new investment is planned at the Louisville Assembly Plant to support continued production of the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair.

FleetPride plans distribution hub in Georgia
FleetPride, a distributor of truck and trailer parts, will open a 256,000-square-foot distribution center currently under construction near Atlanta in Lilburn, Ga. The Lilburn facility is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2020.

Carvana delivering 450 jobs in Alabama
Carvana, an e-commerce platform for buying and selling used cars, plans to invest more than $45 million to construct an Alabama distribution and fulfillment center, and create more than 300 jobs. Construction of a 200,000-square-foot distribution facility in Bessemer is expected to begin in April 2020 and open by December 2021. The total project is about $47 million in capital investment.

Hyundai begins production of redesigned Sonata
Alabama’s Hyundai plant launched mass production of the redesigned Sonata sedan in November, another milestone for the $1.8 billion, 3,000-worker Montgomery facility. The 2020 Sonata features improved safety, technology, performance and fuel efficiency, along with an all-new sporty design that is a departure from the brand’s traditional styling.

Livent expands in North Carolina
The Livent Corp. is expanding its facilities in Bessemer City, N.C., in a $16 million effort that will add 30 new jobs and increase production capacities. The expansion will allow Livent to increase production of lithium hydroxide, which is an essential component of the advanced lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, as well as in industrial greasers and other applications. In addition to the 30 new jobs at the facility, work on the expansion is expected to employ 85 construction workers.

Two auto suppliers creating over 500 jobs in Tuscaloosa County, Ala.
The Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority approved tax abatements for projects by two automotive parts suppliers that are expected to create more than 500 jobs. International Automotive Components Group North will invest $22.3 million and create 119 jobs. Lear Corp. plans to make a $12.4 million investment in an expansion, which is expected to create 442 jobs.

Michael Randle

Author: Michael Randle