Southern Auto Corridor - Fall 2022

After some thought, Toyota invests big in the EV manufacturing craze
Toyota is adding $2.5 billion on top of the $1.3 initial announced investment for its first U.S. battery factory in Liberty, N.C., near Greensboro. Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina is expected to produce batteries for its electric vehicle at the site in 2025.

Automakers, both foreign and domestic, have begun a land grab of tens of thousands of acres in the South to product electric vehicles and its primary parts, such as batteries.
Toyota officials have been slow to announce EV deals until now. In late August, Toyota’s Executive Vice President Jack Hollis said in multiple media reports that “the consumer isn’t demanding (EVs) at that level,” referring to the growing movement towards electric vehicles in the U.S.


Mercedes begins assembling electric vehicles at Alabama plant
Twenty-five years after rolling out its SUV at the company’s plant in Vance, Ala., German automaker Mercedes-Benz assembled its first electric SUV at its only U.S. OEM facility. Five years of development and $1 billion in investments for battery-making and a new assembly line has created 1,000 new jobs in West Alabama. During that time, Mercedes has faced all kinds of hurdles to start EV production, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the semiconductor shortage, staffing challenges and global supply chain issues. The automaker houses nearly 5,000 workers at its plants in Tuscaloosa and Bibb counties.

Two-million-square-foot industrial park planned near Mazda Toyota in North Alabama

Fairway Investments and Triad Properties have purchased land to build a 2-million-square foot industrial park off Greenbriar Parkway in the fast-growing Limestone County part of Huntsville. The property is located within a short distance from the $2.3 billion Mazda Toyota joint venture automotive assembly plant in Limestone County, Ala. The name of the park will be the Huntsville West Industrial Park.

Small Alabama EV maker delivers first vehicle

Autocar has delivered its first Alabama-built electric vehicle. The company makes severe-duty vehicles that are used in industrial applications.


The announcement last May that Hyundai would build an EV and battery plant near Savannah has led to a massive industrial park announcement this quarter. The park could accommodate up to  5 million square feet of industrial space. Monster electric vehicle plant’s construction holds first job fair
Barnett Southern hosted a job fair in the Savannah, Ga., area to attract laborers to help begin excavation ahead of construction at the Bryan County megasite that will house the incoming Hyundai EV plant. Over 1,000 job-seekers attended the job fair.

Massive industrial park proposed near Hyundai EV plant in Southeast Georgia
Haiseal Timber, a Dublin, Ga.-based company that owns swaths of undeveloped forests across the Southeast and specifically in Southeast Georgia where Korean automaker Hyundai is building one of the largest economic development projects in the South’s history, is planning to develop a large industrial park there in Bryan County. The park could accommodate up to 5 million square feet of industrial space.

Japanese electric vehicle parts maker to shift location of $150 million plant from South Carolina to Georgia
Nippon Denkai will build a $150 million plant in Augusta, Ga., instead of its original site in Camden, S.C. The plant will make copper foil for electric vehicle batteries. The company will hire 100 in the deal.


Electric vehicle parts maker making major investment in Kentucky
In late August, Envision AESC broke ground on a $2 billion electric vehicle battery gigafactory in Bowling Green’s Kentucky Transpark. The deal, a further testament that the EV industry is positively affecting just about every Southern state, is expected to generate 2,000 jobs.

EV battery parts maker to invest over $300 million in Western Kentucky
Massachusetts-based Ascend Elements has chosen Hopkinsville for a plant that will produce materials for electric vehicle batteries, Gov. Andy Beshear announced in August. The plant will house up to 400 employees.

Automotive supplier Purem by Eberspaecher to add 250 workers in Louisville
Purem by Eberspaecher, a German automotive supplier, celebrated the opening of the company’s Louisville operation in August. The deal will create 250 jobs.


VinFast, a Vietnam-based EV manufacturer, will receive an incentive package from the state of North Carolina that will top  $1 billionToyota triples electric vehicle investment in North Carolina
Toyota announced in the summer quarter it will up its ante for its first U.S. battery factory due to rising consumer demand for electric vehicles. The Japanese automaker originally announced an investment of $1.3 billion for the facility near Greensboro. Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina now says it will spend $3.8 billion. As of this writing, Toyota has invested over $5 billion in electric vehicle technology as it attempts to go carbon-neutral by 2035. The North Carolina plant is expected to open in 2025.

North Carolina increases giant incentives package for Toyota
The Tar Heel State is adding millions to Toyota’s incentive package to assist in building an 1,800-acre megasite in Randolph County, N.C., for the Japanese automaker’s electric car battery plant, its first in North America. A regulatory bill passed into law in the summer quarter reserves another $225 million for the plant’s potential further growth. Between state and local incentives, North Carolina had already dedicated around $439 million to the project, with Toyota in turn pledging to invest $1.27 billion and create 1,750 jobs by 2029.

Vietnamese electric carmaker to receive largest incentive package in North Carolina history
VinFast, a Vietnam-based EV manufacturer, will receive an incentive package from the state of North Carolina that will top $1 billion. VinFast is quickly entering the North American and European markets and will employ thousands at its plant in Chatham County, N.C.


Bosch will invest $200 million to build fuel cells for electric trucks in South Carolina
German auto supplier Bosch said it will invest more than $200 million to build fuel cells for electric trucks in South Carolina. Bosch plans to expand an existing factory in Anderson, S.C., to build the fuel cell “stacks” starting in 2026. The investment is expected to create at least 350 new jobs at the factory.


Hankook Tire & Technology said it will invest another $612 million in its plant in Clarksville, Tenn.One thousand construction workers at Ford’s BlueOval City plant site in Western Tennessee
There has been no groundbreaking for Ford’s massive new electric vehicle plant just north of Memphis, but that doesn’t mean activity has not begun. Over 1,000 workers are preparing the site as of September in Haywood County, Tenn., with over 2,000 expected by the end of October. The $5.6 billion (that’s with a “B”) electric truck and battery plant will see over 5,000 construction workers by next summer.

South Korean company to locate first North American facility in Tennessee
Duksan Electera America will locate a new manufacturing facility in Shelbyville, Tenn. The EV-based parts maker will invest $95 million and hire over 100 in the deal.

Foreign tire makers grow to invest more than $5 billion in Tennessee
The world’s biggest tire manufacturers are boosting their investments and tire output in Tennessee with nearly $1.2 billion of additional investments announced recently. South Korean-based Hankook Tire & Technology said it will invest another $612 million in its plant in Clarksville, Tenn., and add 397 more jobs over the next five years.

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