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 Southern Auto Corridor News
August 15, 2009
Exide Battery Creating 200 Jobs in Georgia
Exide Technologies, a lead-acid battery manufacturer, has received a $34.3 million federal grant and will create 200 manufacturing jobs at its location in Columbus. Exide is expanding to produce advanced AGM flat plate batteries at its Columbus facility. The fuel-saving batteries have numerous industrial and transportation applications.
Hyundai Supplier Expanding in Alabama
Hanil E Hwa Interior Systems announced plans in August to establish a new assembly line and distribution center at its facilities in Selma, Ala. The deal is expected to create 10 new jobs. The new assembly line will be used to supply Hyundai's Montgomery, Ala. assembly plant with interior door trims for its new Sonata model.
BMW Offers Buyouts to S.C. Employees
In the midst of a $750 million expansion, German automaker BMW announced in mid-summer voluntary separation packages to workers at its facilities in Greer, S.C. The buyouts are part of the company's plan to cut its worldwide workforce by about 8,000 employees. More than 5,000 employees work at the Greer assembly plant.
Mercedes-Benz Expansion in Alabama Underway
A $290 million, 225,000-square-foot expansion of the body shop at the Mercedes assembly plant in Vance, Ala. has begun. The expansion will include upgrading the existing body shop and new high-technology machinery and equipment such as improved robotics and tooling. The new body shop is expected to be operational by October of 2011. The expansion will not result in additional jobs at the plant, but helps secure current jobs at the plant.
Koyo Expanding S.C. Plant
Koyo Corp., a major supplier of bearings to the automotive industry and a corporate citizen of South Carolina for 34 years, announced in the summer quarter it is investing $10 million in its plant in Orangeburg. The expansion will add land, building and equipment at its facilities in Orangeburg.
Continental Evaluating Huntsville, Ala. Plant
Describing its Huntsville, Ala. plant as the most expensive facility to operate of all its plants in North America, auto parts supplier Continental is evaluating its 950-employee facility to determine if it can be restructured to a more competitive position. The company has given a deadline of August 31 to make a decision on the plant's future, which may include downsizing or closure if negotiations with the UAW are unsuccessful in reducing overall costs of operating the plant. Continental's manufacturing capacity is too great in North America and the company already has laid off about 370 workers at the plant this year. The company manufactures powertrain products, such as electronic systems and radio and navigation equipment at the Huntsville plant for Chrysler, BMW, Hyundai, GM, Ford and BMW.
Honda Increases Production in Alabama
Sales of Alabama-made Honda models have climbed steadily over the summer. Production of the Pilot SUV and Odyssey minivan ramped up as sales jumped 11.8 percent and 7.7 percent respectively in June compared with June of '08.
Carbon Motors Selects Indiana for Plant
On July 29, Atlanta-based Carbon Motors officially selected Connersville, Ind. for its proposed headquarters and manufacturing operations. The Atlanta-based startup manufacturer of high-tech police cars plans to invest $350 million to locate its production headquarters at a vacant, 1.8-million-square-foot facility formerly used by parts maker Visteon. Carbon, which plans to produce a cruiser that runs on clean diesel and biodiesel technology, chose Indiana over locations in Georgia and South Carolina.
Carlisle to Create 440 Jobs at New Tennessee Tire and Wheel Facility
Charlotte-based Carlisle Companies announced in the summer it will locate a new manufacturing facility in Jackson, Tenn. The facility will be operated by Carlisle Tire and Wheel and will manufacture tires, inner tubes and wheels for a variety of vehicles used in the agriculture, all-terrain, golf, industrial, lawn/garden and trailer markets. The project represents a multi-million dollar investment and is expected to create about 440 new jobs.
Continental Expanding N.C. Brake Plant
A subsidiary of German auto parts maker Continental AG announced plans in late July that it will expand operations at its Fletcher, NC. brake plant. The company is hiring 300 workers to expand its production of brake systems for original equipment manufacturers, more than doubling the current work force at the plant.
Honda Rolls Out First Accords at Alabama Plant
In the summer Honda began mass producing the popular V-6 Accord model at its plant in Lincoln, Ala. The Accord is the fourth Honda model to be built at the east Alabama facility, joining the Ridgeline pickup, Odyssey minivan and Pilot SUV. Honda announced last gall that it would move most production of the V-6 Accord to Alabama from Marysville, Ohio. 

Norfolk Southern Chooses Birmingham for Cargo Hub

In the summer Norfolk Southern announced it is investing $112 million in a new cargo-loading terminal on 316 acres just outside of Birmingham in McCalla, Ala. The hub, where shipping containers will be unloaded from trucks and placed on rail cars, will require at least 600 workers and may lead to as many as 8,000 indirect jobs.

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