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.

January 2021

Rejoining the Paris Agreement to boost automotive industry

Former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, more commonly called the Paris Climate Accord. President Biden has now rejoined the Climate Accord and it will be a boost to the automotive industry, specifically electric vehicles.

Lars Carlstrom, founder of Britishvolt, a U.K. manufacturer of lithium ion batteries, said to Southern Business & Development and SouthernAutoCorridor.com about the effect of the U.S. rejoining the Paris accord will have on the automotive industry: “Now that the US is returning to the Paris Climate agreement, the future of the automotive industry has received a huge boost. The U.S. has the second-highest consumption of vehicles in the world per 1,000 people and re-signing the Paris Climate agreement is only going to increase the demand for electric vehicles, gigafactories and boost the production of batteries,” Carlstrom said.

Automotive EV deals keep popping up in the South

Hitachi Automotive, a well-known Kentucky employer, has announced its Automotive Electric Motor Systems America division will establish a new plant in Berea, Ky. The facility will make motors for electric vehicles, many of which will be made in Kentucky. The deal is expected to create 200 jobs in Berea, locate in the Eastern part of the state in the mountains of Appalachia.

South Carolina ports are dealing

The Port of Charleston, which is a major vehicle export facility because of the BMW plant in South Carolina, capped its 2020 year with its strongest December in history. Vehicle volumes were up almost 30 percent from last year. The port handled 135,000 vehicles and 1.2 million containers units in the 2020 fiscal year.

Mercedes to build electric SUVs at Alabama plant starting in 2022

In the winter quarter, Mercedes-Benz officials announced the German automaker will begin assembly of electric SUVs in 2022. Mercedes announced it will launch six electric versions of its vehicles in 2022, including the EQE SUV and EQS SUV to be assembled at its Vance, Ala., plant. Batteries made in Bibb County, Ala., will be used on those electric SUVs.

Tier 1 auto parts supplier expanding in Elizabethtown, Ky.

Mexican automotive parts supplier Metalsa is expanding its truck vehicle frame plant in Elizabethtown, Ky. The plant is the largest for the company in the U.S. with over 1,800 workers. The new expansion will add 300 jobs.

Auto parts manufacturer to locate facility in West Virginia

Speedway Motors, a maker of auto parts, is opening a new distribution center in Kearneysville, W.Va. The deal will create 25 jobs.

German company that serves the auto industry locates Alabama plant

Heiche Surface Technologies, a German manufacturer of advanced metal coatings used in the automotive industry, is setting up a new facility in Jasper, Ala. The company will occupy a speculative building in the Jasper Industrial Park. The deal will create 73 jobs.

Tesla to locate solar energy division in Palm Beach County

The electric vehicle company Tesla is opening a new solar energy division in Palm Beach County. The company will hire 130 in the deal.

Carvana opens distribution center in Arkansas

E-commerce car sales company Carvana has opened a $40 million vehicle inspection and distribution center in West Memphis, Ark. The project will create 400 jobs.

Self-driving firm adding jobs in Southwest Virginia

Torc Robotics, a Virginia-based company, is expanding in Blacksburg, Va., at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. The company that develops self-driving systems, is expected to create 350 jobs.

Volkswagen building battery lab in Chattanooga

German automaker VW broke ground on a new battery engineering lab at its assembly plant site in Chattanooga, Tenn., in the winter quarter. VW has commenced construction on large facilities at its plant in Chattanooga, including a 564,000-square-foot electric vehicle line and a 198,000-square-foot battery pack manufacturing facility. The $22 million battery lab will test vehicle batteries made on site.

Electric vehicle startup picks Charlotte for HQ

U.K. electric vehicle startup Arrival has chosen Charlotte for its North American headquarters. The London company that will develop lightweight commercial vehicles, is investing $3 million and hiring 150 as it starts up.

Electric auto battery companies continue to make deals in the South

Some lithium-ion battery makers like SK, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Nissan have already spent billions to set up their fuel for the cars they build. However, smaller companies are joining the electric battery fray, including Amperex Technology Kentucky. That company is setting up shop in Glasgow, Ky., in what is a $8.5 million deal. That deal will create 350 jobs.

Japan-based Taica Cubic Printing expands Clark County, Ky., manufacturing plant

Japan-based Taica Cubic Printing, which provides printing and paint application for automotive suppliers, plans to expand its manufacturing plant in Clark County. The $4.4 million investment is expected to create 20 new jobs.

Joint venture Iwis-Daido locates manufacturing in Murray, Ky.

Iwis-Daido, a new joint venture between Iwis Engine Systems and Daido Corp. of America, will invest $2.7 million and produce automotive engine chains in Murray, Ky. The project is expected to create 37 jobs.

Canada-based auto components maker expands Tennessee factory

Windsor Mold, parent company of Canada-based Tenneplas, will invest $3.5 million in a 37,500-square-foot expansion of its operations complex in Giles County, Tenn. The company plans to create 40 jobs.

Auto parts retailer locates distribution hub in Jax

1A Auto, an online-only aftermarket auto parts retailer, will locate its Southeast U.S. distribution operations in Jacksonville, Fla. The Massachusetts-based company plans to create 30 new jobs initially, and hopes to grow to 100 jobs within the first couple of years.

Michelin planning $175 million investment in South Carolina

Michelin North America is planning to invest up to $175 million in equipment and machinery in Spartanburg and Greenville counties. Headquartered in Greenville, the tire maker is seeking to update its 25-year tax break agreements with both counties, which date back to 1996. Michelin says it is committed to investing $75 million in its Spartanburg County facilities and $100 million in its Greenville County facilities.

Stanley Engineered Fastening plans expansion and 49 new jobs in Kentucky

One of Hopkinsville’s oldest industrial companies will create 49 jobs paying an average of $34 an hour after it completes a $6 million expansion. Stanley Engineered Fastening is a division of Stanley Black and Decker. It produces fasteners and other components used in assembly for several industries, including automotive and general manufacturing.

Turkish auto supplier plans HQ in Georgia

Teklas, a manufacturer of electric vehicle parts based in Turkey, will invest $6.5 million to open its first North American facility and headquarters in Calhoun, Ga. The project is expected to create 120 jobs in Gordon County.

Auto supplier Mobis bringing 120 jobs to Birmingham area

Auto supplier Mobis Alabama announced it is expanding into the Birmingham metro area with a $15.8 million new facility that is expected to support 120 jobs. The company, a subsidiary of Hyundai Mobis, announced plans to open its second Alabama facility at the Jefferson County Metropolitan Industrial Park in McCalla. Mobis currently operates a facility in Montgomery County that supplies the Hyundai plant in Montgomery and Kia plant in West Point, Ga.

Top Automotive Deals in the South – Spring 2020

 

The Southern Auto Corridor’s 10 Largest New and Expanded Manufacturing and Selected Non-Manufacturing Job Announcements

Announcements made in the Spring 2020 Quarter

CompanyJobs$InvN/ELocationDescription
1. Tesla5,000$1,000NAustin, TexasAuto assembly
2. SK Innovation600$940ECommerce, Ga.EV batteries
3. Toyota450$1,200EHuntsville, Ala.Engines
4. GEDIA200$85NWhitfield Co., Ga. Auto parts
5. Toyota Financial150$8NAlpharetta, Ga.Auto financing
6. Highway Trans150N/AEGeismar, La.Tanker trucks
7. Navistar145N/AEHuntsville, Ala.Truck assembly
8. Mann+Hummel100N/AEDunlap, Tenn.Auto parts
9. Truck Equipment43$2EPowell Co., Ky.Dump trucks
10. Hayashi Telempu19$7EWalker Co., Ala.Auto parts

($Inv. = Investment in millions – N=New; E=Expansion; R=Relocation)

Sources: RandleReport.com

 

December 2020

Economists believe in big rebound for auto industry

According to economists with the University of Michigan, production and sales of new vehicles in the U.S. will rebound strongly in 2021 and 2022. They expect sales to climb to 16.3 million vehicles in 2021, up from 14.5 million projected in 2020.

Elon Musk moves to Texas

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla has moved to Texas. Both SpaceX and Tesla maintain major operations in California, but Tesla is building a Cybertruck plant near the Austin, Texas airport that represents a $1.2 billion investment and will house 5,000 workers.

Mazda Toyota hiring again at new plant in Huntsville, Ala.

Mazda Toyota is still finishing its plant in Huntsville and in December it hired hundreds of more workers for the facility. The hiring, according to the company, will continue through 2022. The plant is expected to be operational in mid-2021.

Genuine Parts to open distribution center in Tennessee

Genuine Parts Company will open a new auto parts distribution center in Lebanon, Tenn. The project will create 250 jobs.

Auto parts manufacturer to expand in Virginia

IAC Group is expanding its automotive parts facility in Strasburg, Va. The $4.6 million deal will create 47 jobs.

Boston Consulting Group: Ford’s Kentucky plants contribute billions

According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant and its Kentucky Truck Plant contribute billions to Kentucky’s economy. BCG estimates that the two Ford plants contribute $11.8 billion to Kentucky’s Gross Domestic Product. The two plants employ about 13,000 and direct and indirect jobs supported by the plants total 120,000.

Big automotive deal in Georgia

Hyundai Transys, a maker of automotive transmissions, is building a new $240 million plant near Kia’s massive assembly facility in West Point, Ga. The plant will produce eight-speed transmissions. The project calls for 678 jobs.

Fourteen- millionth vehicle assembled at Tennessee Nissan plant

A red Nissan Rogue rolled off the assembly line at the Japanese automaker’s plant in Smyrna, Tenn. in December. The vehicle was the 14 millionth vehicle made at the facility. The plant, which began assembling vehicles in 1983, houses about 7,000 workers.

Spain-based Gestamp expands in Tennessee

Auto parts supplier Gestamp is investing over $94 million in its facilities in Chattanooga. The expansion is due to new electric vehicle production. The deal will create 260 new jobs.

Hyundai adds model to Montgomery assembly plant

Korean automaker Hyundai has added a fifth vehicle to its assembly plant in Montgomery, Ala. The company is adding its Tuscon model compact SUV to its Alabama line.

November 2020

Auto markets begin to stabilize worldwide

In the fall quarter, global automotive markets began to increase sales in China, the U.S. and Europe. China, the first country to have coronavirus cases, saw growth in its automotive market in the summer and fall 2020 quarters. The U.S. quickly followed and the European Automotive Manufacturers’ Association said it saw an increase of 1.1 percent in sales in October.

New report shows Southeast has large share of electric vehicle market

A new report by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) and Atlas Public Policy shows that the Southeast is a leader in electric vehicle manufacturing and research and development. The report, “Transportation Electrification in the Southeast,” claimed that 28 percent of the nationwide manufacturing investment has occurred in the Southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Nearly $7 billion in current automakers and battery manufacturer’s investments are in the Southeast.

Tesla’s gigafactory in Austin, Texas, to create 15,000 new jobs

Tesla is expected to create 15,000 direct and indirect jobs at the factory it is building near the Austin airport. The company will build its Cybertruck at the facility.

Toyota expanding plant in Georgia

Toyota Industries Compressor Parts America is investing over $5 million in its plant in Jackson County, Ga. The deal will create 27 jobs.

Continental Tire eyes expansion in Lancaster County, S.C.

Continental Tire the Americas will invest more than $20 million to expand its complex in Lancaster County. The expansion will include a new 88,000-square-foot building that will be constructed next to the existing headquarters, and the addition of 200 new jobs.

Cleveland, Tenn., lands $114 million auto parts plant

Southeast Tennessee’s growing auto sector has landed a supplier that plans to hire nearly 200 workers and invest $114 million as the first company in Cleveland’s newest industrial park. Cannon Automotive Solutions of Bowling Green,Ky., a maker of metal auto parts, will begin production next year.

Auto supplier expansion completed at Frankfort, Ky., facility

TOPY America, a steel wheel manufacturer for the North American car and light truck markets, has completed a $38 million renovation at its Frankfort operation. The project was originally announced in late 2017.

GM investing $2 billion In Spring Hill, Tenn., plant to build electric vehicles

General Motors plans to spend $2 billion to convert its Spring Hill assembly plant into a third U.S. site to build electric vehicles. The Detroit automaker also says it will spend another $153 million to upgrade five Michigan factories for future vehicles. The company will build the Cadillac Lyriq, a small electric SUV, at the Tennessee factory. Gasoline-powered Cadillac SUVs will also continue to be built at the plant. GM is also expected to announce details of an all-electric GMC Hummer pickup truck. These are among 20 electric models the company plans to sell globally by 2023.

Auto supplier plans Alabama expansions creating 180 jobs

International Automotive Components Group North America (IAC) plans to invest over $55.9 million in expansion projects that will create 182 jobs at two Alabama facilities. IAC is committing $34.3 million to expand its new manufacturing facility located in Tuscaloosa County, which will hire 119 to produce door panels and overhead systems. In addition, IAC plans to invest $21.6 million at its manufacturing facility in Anniston, creating 63 jobs. The primary product there is automotive interior components and systems.

F&P Georgia planning another expansion

F&P Georgia is growing again. The auto parts manufacturer will invest $23 million and add at least 15 new jobs over three years. F&P is a major supplier to both Honda and Nissan.

Fifty-million-dollar Mercedes-Benz expansion in Alabama to add 373 jobs

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International plans to lease a new $53.6 million, 530,000-square-foot parts facility near its plant in Tuscaloosa County. The company is expected to create 373 jobs. Situated on 53 acres, the plant will primarily serve as a storage and sequence facility for parts used in MBUSI’s electric vehicles. The automaker is in the midst of a $1 billion expansion focused on electric vehicle production in Alabama, including a new plant in Bibb County that will make battery packs.

Autozone expands Lexington, Tenn., distribution hub

AutoZone, a retailer and distributor of aftermarket auto replacement parts, will invest $42 million to expand its current operations in Lexington. The company plans to create 45 jobs over the next five years.

Toyota hiring 150 for Huntsville engine plant

Toyota is looking for people to fill positions as part of an expansion that’s adding two new assembly lines to its Huntsville, Ala., engine plant. The 150 new hires are part of the company’s $830 million expansion that is increasing engine production.

Britain-based Arrival will build first U.S. factory in Rock Hill, S.C.

London-based Arrival, an electric vehicle company, plans to establish its first U.S. microfactory in Rock Hill. The $46 million investment in York County is expected to create 240 new jobs. Rather than a traditional automotive production line, the microfactory will allow the production of any vehicle from Arrival’s portfolio.

Truck parts maker expands to U.S., investing $13.3 million in Alabama factory

A producer of pickup truck bed parts and accessories plans to enter the U.S. market with a new factory in Alabama. Mountain Top Industries will invest $13.3 million in its new facility in Montgomery. The project is expected to create 90 new jobs.

Carvana hiring 500 in West Memphis, Ark.

Carvana in West Memphis is aiming to hire about 500 positions for its inspection center there. All the positions are entry-level inventory associates, automotive technicians, and auto body and paint technicians for its newest vehicle inspection center in West Memphis.

Tesla buys more land in Austin,Texas, next to its new assembly plant

Tesla is buying more land in Austin near the site of the $1.1 billion Gigafactory it’s building near the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. The 2,000-acre property will be used for the plant’s future expansion or possibly for a battery factory.

October 2020

Porsche expanding North American HQ in Georgia

Porsche Cars North America has announced a new multi-million dollar investment in its North American headquarters in Georgia. Located at the northeast corner of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the new 33-acre development adds to the company’s existing 27-acre headquarters.

Danish company selects Alabama for first U.S. plant

Denmark-based Mountain Top Industries, which specializes in aluminum roll covers for pickup trucks, plans to open a 73,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Montgomery. The company will invest $13.3 million to open the facility, which will support 90 full-time jobs.

Driverge Vehicle Innovations expands South Carolina production campus

Driverge Vehicle Innovations, an industry leader in commercial wheelchair transportation and accessible taxis, plans to expand operations in North Charleston. The company’s $350,000 investment is projected to create 13 new jobs.

Loss Prevention Services will relocate HQ to Natchez, Miss., hire 200 new jobs

Loss Prevention Services, an auto portfolio servicing company for financial lenders (think repossession and remarketing), will invest $2.97 million to locate its corporate headquarters in Natchez. The new 45,000-square-foot facility will be able to accommodate the 300 existing local employees, with plans to fill 200 additional new jobs by summer 2022.

DMA Holdings eyes Nichols, S.C., for new hub

DMA Holdings, a supplier to the North American automotive and heavy-duty parts aftermarket, announced plans to expand operations in Marion County with the opening of a new manufacturing and distribution center. The company plans to invest more than $3.9 million and will create 25 new jobs. The company’s brands include SenSen Shocks and Struts and TekMaster Brake Wear Sensors.

The Shyft Group opens manufacturing facility in Jupiter, Fla.

The Shyft Group, a leader in specialty vehicle manufacturing, assembly and upfitting, plans to open a new 35,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Jupiter. The expansion is expected to immediately create 40 new positions in Palm Beach County.

Colorado automotive manufacturer to locate plant in Alabama

Wheel Pros, a maker of aftermarket wheels, performance tires and accessories, is locating a plant in Auburn, Ala. The project will create 300 jobs.

Automotive software firm adding jobs in Virginia

Torc Robotics, a Blacksburg, Va.-based self-driving vehicle systems software developer, is expanding. The $8.5 million project will create 350 jobs.

Military vehicle manufacturer adding jobs in Mississippi

Navistar Defense is expanding its plant in West Point, Miss. The company is investing $8 million and adding 500 new jobs.

September 2020

Mazda Toyota investing $830 million more in Huntsville, Ala., plant.
After initially investing $1.6 billion in its plant being finished in North Alabama, Mazda Toyota will make an additional investment of $830 million to install new advanced manufacturing technologies at the plant. Some of the new investment will also go into training the plant’s 4,000 employees.

Mercedes plant in Alabama among first in the world to use innovative production line system
German automaker Mercedes-Benz is one of the first automakers to use a “digital ecosystem” at its plant in Tuscaloosa County, Ala. This new system incorporates a mix of software and hardware, including sensors on the vehicles, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and hand-held tablets and smartphones.

DURA Automotive opening new Alabama facility
Michigan-based DURA Automotive Systems has announced plans to invest $59 million to open a manufacturing facility in Muscle Shoals, Ala., that will produce battery trays for electric vehicles. The project will create 279 jobs and expands the potential for Alabama’s auto industry to capitalize on the growing EV wave.

Auto supplier plans $45 million expansion in Salisbury, N.C.
Continental Structural Plastics, a manufacturer of automotive and heavy truck composite components, will expand operations with an investment of $45 million in its facility in Salisbury. The company plans to create 61 jobs in Rowan County.

Armored car maker to invest $2.3 million, create 30 jobs in Mississippi
CITE Armored is increasing its presence in Mississippi by establishing van production operations in Batesville. The project is a $2.3 million investment and will create 30 jobs by the end of 2021.

Manufacturer hiring 100 in Cottondale, Ala.
Preferred Precision Group, located in Cottondale, is looking to hire 100 people for manufacturing jobs. PPG provides outsourcing solutions to manufacturers in the automotive, medical device and aerospace industries.

Nokian Tyres adding 50 jobs to Dayton, Tenn., workforce
The Nokian Tyres factory in Dayton, Tenn., is hiring for a second shift with plans to immediately add about 50 more employees.

Toyota and Mazda investing extra $830 million into Alabama factory
Mazda Toyota Manufacturing will make an additional $830 million investment to incorporate more cutting-edge manufacturing technologies to its production lines and provide enhanced training to its workforce of up to 4,000 employees at its assembly plant in Huntsville, Ala. The original plan forecast investment to be $1.6 billion, and production was scheduled to start in 2021. Now, production is expected to start in 2022 at the $2.3 billion facility.

Tesla picks Austin for $1 billion factory
In the summer quarter, California-based Tesla announced it has chosen a site near the Austin airport for a new $1 billion assembly plant complex. The electric car manufacturer has a plant in Fremont, Calif., and one in Shanghai. It also plans to build a factory near Berlin. CEO Elon Musk promised the new facility on the Colorado River will be an “ecological paradise.” The plant will create 5,000 jobs at the start.

Vehicle age hits record high
We thought the record age of vehicles in the Great Recession was bad. This is worse. The average age of vehicles on the streets in the U.S. is now 11.9 years old. According to IHS Markit, nearly one in four vehicles are at least 16 years old.

Big automotive parts plant being built in North Georgia
GEDIA Automotive Group, a manufacturer of automotive parts, announced it will build an advanced manufacturing facility in Whitfield County, Ga. The $85 million project will create 200 jobs.

Auto supplier to add jobs in Tennessee
Automotive supplier Mann+Hummel is filling 100 jobs for its plant in Dunlap, Tenn. The plant currently houses 300 workers and makes manifolds and air boxes for Ford, GM, BMW and Nissan.

Electric vehicle parts supplier to invest in Georgia plant
GEDIA Automotive Group, a maker of parts for electric vehicles, will invest $85 million to build a manufacturing facility in Whitfield County, Ga. The project will generate 200 jobs.

Mercedes-Benz to halt C-Class production at Alabama plant
German automaker Mercedes-Benz will end production of the C-Class sedan at its plant in Vance, Ala., and at facilities in Mexico. The Tuscaloosa County  facility will go back to just making four models of SUVs.

GM hires back laid off workers at Texas plant
In the spring, GM temporarily laid off workers at its large SUV plant in Arlington, Texas. They are now hiring them back in hundreds. The workers were laid off after GM idled many assembly plants between late March and mid-May.

Toyota expands Alabama engine plant for the fifth time since 2003
In the summer quarter, Toyota Alabama announced the fifth expansion of its large engine plant in Huntsville, Ala. The Japanese automaker is adding 450 jobs in the $1.2 billion investment. Toyota’s engine plant in Alabama serves one third of all Toyota vehicles assembled in the U.S.

South Korean battery maker adding 600 jobs
SK Innovation, a manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles, is adding 600 jobs at its plant in Commerce, Ga. In 2018, the Korean company announced a $1.6 billion, 2,000-job commitment. This expansion is worth $940 million.

Dump truck maker adding jobs in Kentucky
Truck Equipment & Body, a maker of dump truck bodies and truck equipment, is expanding in Powell County, Ky. The $2 million project will create 43 jobs.

India-based company locates facility in South Carolina

India-Based AXISCADES, an engineering firm that provides services in the automotive and aerospace industries among others, is opening a facility in Greenville, S.C.

Mercedes plans to make all factories carbon-neutral by 2022
Mercedes-Benz is opening its battery plant near its assembly facility in Tuscaloosa, Ala. There, it will build electric SUV vehicles. The goal was to make electric vehicles by 2022 in Europe, but the Alabama plant has been added to the mix.

Mercedes selling SUVs to China a hot commodity
Alabama’s exports to China, even in the midst of trade tensions, grew by 26 percent in the first quarter of this year. One major player is the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Auto exports to China were up 170 percent in the first quarter. . . the vast majority of that increase came from Alabama-made Mercedes SUV exports to China.

Tennessee-based Nissan to slash production capacity
Japanese automaker Nissan, which operates its North American headquarters near Nashville, reported a $6.2 billion loss in its latest fiscal year. As a result, the company will close plants in Spain and Indonesia, reducing its models and cutting capacity in the U.S. and elsewhere. Nissan has a worldwide capacity to produce 7 million vehicles but sold only little more than 5 million last year.

Coronavirus to help Mazda Toyota fill jobs in Northern Alabama
Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, which is finishing up its $1.6 billion, 4,000-employee plant in Huntsville, Ala., will benefit from jobs lost by the coronavirus. Mazda Toyota had a huge issue prior to the virus. . .it had a 4,000-employee plant that as of the end of 2019, was being built in a market that had no labor. Then came the virus and soaring unemployment. While it will be much easier now to fill those 4,000 positions, the plant has delayed opening as a result of the pandemic.

GM’s Tennessee plant to be run by the sun in less than two years
General Motors’ Spring Hill, Tenn., plant will be run completely by solar energy in 2022. The solar energy will be provided by TVA and one of its solar farms in Lowndes County, Miss., which is currently being built.

School district in Austin dangles $68 million in incentives for Tesla
The Del Valle school district in Austin is considering an incentive package to help lure Tesla to Austin. The $68 million comes in the form of a reduction of property taxes over a 10-year period. Tesla is considering Austin to build a 4 million- to 5 million-square foot facility at a site in Southeast Austin. The electric car plant could house 5,000 or more workers.