March 2024


Alabama sets record for exports

For the second consecutive year, Alabama has set a new value record for exports with $27.4 billion. Overseas shipments of Alabama-made vehicles, aerospace parts, minerals and metals, as well as other products, rose more than 6 percent from the 2022 mark of $25.5 billion, according to the Alabama Department of Commerce. “Looking forward, the potential for greater export growth is there, and we are already exploring new and expanding markets for Alabama companies,” said Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Ellen McNair, who is succeeding Greg Canfield in that role.


New aluminum project forges ahead in South Alabama, even though costs have risen 60 percent

Novelis is building a monster of an aluminum production plant in North Baldwin County, Ala. The site is at the former South Alabama Megasite. Initially, the project was to cost a tad over $2.5 billion. Now, it’s estimated the plant, which will take up much of the 3,000-acre site, will cost just over $4 billion to build. Steve Fisher, CEO of Novelis, said that the facility will be a “true plant of the future,” adding “decades” to the lifetime of the plant. When announced, the facility was to house 1,000 employees. According to Fisher, automotive and beverage contracts have already been secured, guaranteeing the factory will be profitable well into the future.


Toyota begins production on new engine line in Huntsville, Ala.

Toyota Alabama announced that it has begun production of its i-FORCE 2.4-liter turbo engine line at its Huntsville engine plant, culminating a $222 million corporate investment in the project. The 2,000-employee plant will provide powertrains for the new Tacoma pickup.


Montgomery’s Hyundai workers announce union drive; UAW eyes Tesla, VW and Mercedes

Workers at a Hyundai plant in Montgomery have launched a union drive, the second announced organization effort at a major Alabama automotive manufacturer in the last month. The other is at the state’s Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa County. That plant has fended off union efforts several times in its 26-year history. The United Auto Workers (UAW) claimed in the winter quarter that 30 percent of workers at Hyundai’s plant in Montgomery had signed union cards.



Hyundai supplier to create 200 jobs in Georgia

Doowon Climate Control America will build a new plant near Metter in Candler County, Ga. The $30 million investment will create 200 new jobs. Gov. Brian Kemp said that Georgia’s expanding EV industry is benefiting rural corners of the state. “In fiscal year 2023, alone, 82 percent of new jobs created and more than $20 billion of investments went to communities outside the metro Atlanta area,” Kemp said in a news release.



Toyota boosts investment to $1.3 billion for Kentucky battery production

The automotive leader announced the investment in their flagship Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK) facility in Georgetown, cementing its commitment to being a long-term employer and establishing the automotive plant as a central part of Toyota’s electrification strategy. The company plans on producing an all-new, three-row battery electric SUV. With a total investment of $10 billion, TMMK is Toyota’s largest production facility globally, having produced 12 million vehicles including the Camry, America’s best-selling sedan.



Marshall County wins billion-dollar investment

A joint venture among Accelera by Cummins, Daimler Trucks & Buses and PACCAR have chosen Marshall County, Miss., for a $1.9 billion electric battery cell production plant. The project will create 2,000 jobs. Accelera, Daimler Truck and PACCAR each own 30 percent of, and jointly control, the venture. EVE Energy will serve as the technology partner with 10 percent ownership. The joint venture aims to accelerate and localize battery cell production and the battery supply chain in the U.S. The company will manufacture battery cells for electric commercial vehicles and industrial applications, creating quality manufacturing jobs in the growing clean technology sector.


North Carolina

Cummins plans $580 million investment in Nash County

The engine and generator manufacturer will create 80 jobs in Eastern North Carolina with its investment in new equipment and upgrading its assembly line “for next generation products.”


Fujihatsu & Toyotsu Battery Components, North Carolina to invest $60 million near Toyota plant in Randolph County

The venture will produce prismatic aluminum cell cases and cell covers with discharge values. The Toyota supplier will create 133 jobs.



Stardust Power selects Muskogee, Okla., to build battery-grade lithium refinery

 The company will invest more than $1 billion in the lithium refinery.


South Carolina

Tesla to establish first South Carolina facility in Greenville County

 The electric car company plans to lease 251,100 square feet to create a regional parts distribution facility.



LG Chem signs $19 billion deal with GM

With construction of LG Chem’s $3.2 billion factory in Clarksville, the largest foreign investment in Tennessee history, the South Korean battery maker has agreed to provide GM with battery materials able to power 5 million all-electric vehicles with a 300-mile range.



Elon Musk wants to move Tesla, SpaceX incorporation to Texas

The Tesla and SpaceX chief executive said the company will hold a shareholder vote to decide whether to incorporate in the Lone Star State.


Tesla to occupy 1 million square feet in Kyle, Texas

EV automaker and Austin-headquartered Tesla is moving forward with a warehouse and light assembly facility in Kyle. No word on jobs.


Vehicle parts manufacturer for Tesla to open plant in Austin metro

US Farathane, parts supplier to Tesla’s Austin factory, announced in the winter it will open a plant in North Austin. The project will create 100 jobs.


Norwegian EV parts supplier set to spend millions, hire hundreds in Mesquite, Texas

Hexagon Purus ASA, which makes batteries and systems for electric vehicles, is moving into existing facilities in Mesquite. The project will create 250 jobs.


Global automotive parts supplier to invest $100 million north of Austin

Hanwha Advanced Materials, a massive global automotive parts supplier is investing $100 million and hiring hundreds as it sets up shop in Williamson County, north of Austin. The company will build its new plant in Georgetown.

Author: Stacy Randle