Major investments by two vehicle manufacturers top the week’s investment and site selection news:
In Louisiana, Elio Motors plans to assemble new vehicles at the former General Motors Shreveport plant, where the company plans to create 1,500 new direct jobs by late 2015. Elio will produce enclosed, three-wheeled vehicles capable of attaining a highway mileage rating of more than 80 mpg. The Elio manufacturing facility will occupy approximately 1 million square feet of the more than 3 million-square-foot former GM site.
In Michigan, Ford Motor Co. is making major investments in its plants in the Detroit area. The automaker said it will spend more than $773 million on new equipment and capacity expansions across six manufacturing facilities in southeast Michigan, part of a commitment to invest $6.2 billion in U.S. plants by 2015. The investments in Michigan will create 2,350 new hourly jobs and allow the company to retain an additional 3,240 hourly jobs.
In Illinois, Bridgestone Americas is adding tire building machines and presser stations used to cure tires at high heat and pressure at its plant in Normal. The expansion will add 80 jobs to the tiremaker’s 500-person workforce.
In North Carolina, pharmaceutical manufacturer Exela Pharma Sciences will expand its facility in Caldwell County. The company plans to create 38 jobs and invest $8.5 million over the next three years in Lenoir. The project was made possible in part by an $189,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.
In Tennessee, a Georgia firm that specializes in packaging products is expanding into a large industrial space in West Knoxville. RockTenn has signed a lease to use the warehouse space at the former Goody’s headquarters for its merchandising displays business. The division moving into the space specializes in promotional “point-of-purchase” displays that are used in department stores or groceries to highlight products such as cosmetics or candy.
In Georgia, Continental Case will invest $3.5 million to establish its North American headquarters and manufacturing facility in Cherokee County, Georgia, creating 70 jobs. The company is a manufacturer of replacement parts, shelves and skin kits for all major brands of OEM refrigerated cases for the supermarket industry.