Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Electric Vehicle and Battery Manufacturers are Pushing the Center of US Auto Industry South

The automotive center in the US is moving south


  • Close to $24 billion will be invested in new factories in the south of the United States

  • These investments will be divided in seven states

  • Eight automakers and some battery producers will have operations in these states

Since the beginning of the automobile, most of this industry was located in the north-east and the mid-west of the United States, especially Michigan, where all three of the big American companies (GM, Ford and Stellantis) have their headquarters.

The arrival of new companies and investments toward production of electric cars could change this however, since most of the activity has been happening in the southern states recently.

Eight automakers and a couple of battery producers intend to invest close to $24 billion in seven states in the coming years in order to boost electric vehicle production.

To begin with, Tesla was the first to begin this exile away from Detroit when it opened its headquarters in California, at the foundation of the company. Now, Tesla has built a new assembly and battery plant outside Austin, in Texas, at the cost of $1.1 billion and its CEO, Elon Musk, is ready to make good on his treats to move the head-office out of California due to conflicts caused by the pandemic.

Lucid Motors is also ran from a southern state, Arizona to be precise, and it has just begun production in its $300 million factory in Casa Grande. The company believes future expansions could bring its total investment in the state up to $1 billion.

Also in Arizona, Nikola Corp. is planning a $600 million plant in Coolidge to manufacture hydrogen-electric trucks.

In Kentucky, Ford and SKI will invest a combined $5.8 billion to build two new factories that will produce electric vehicle batteries in Glendale, starting in 2025. This is in addition to SKI spending $2.6 billion on its own on two additional battery plants in Commerce, Georgia.

Blue Oval City | Photo: Ford

The startup Canoo inc. will build an EV plant in Pryor, Oklahoma at the cost of $500 million.

Tennessee will be the hotspot of this investment, with Ford spending $5.6 billion on its Blue Oval City complex in Stanton, where the next generation of the F-150 Lightning electric pickup will be made.

In addition, General Motors and LG Chem are working on an assembly plant and a battery making facility in Spring Hill. In addition to some GM vehicles, this factory will produce cars for Honda and Acura. The cost for this project is reported at $4.3 billion.

Foreign automakers are also investing, since Volkswagen spent $800 million to modernise its facility in Chattanooga in order to make the ID.4 there. Toyota and Mazda have also just opened a new, $2.3billion plant in Huntsville, Alabama, where the Toyota Corolla Cross will be made alongside a new Mazda SUV.


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