U.S. manufacturers hit the ground running at the start of 2023, breaking ground on new plants, announcing some major investments and expanding existing facilities.
This month saw a major EV investment, a historic foray into quantum manufacturing, and continued innovation in a wide range of industries, from chemicals and lumber to stampings and solar.
Let’s explore some of the most exciting new manufacturing operations announced in January 2023.
The U.S. automotive industry continues to make huge strides, propelled largely by the growth of electric vehicle demand. The latest statistics finds U.S. automakers invested $70 billion in new auto assembly and battery plants over the past two years. This trend is reflected in industrial production numbers released by the Federal Reserve which finds output in the U.S. transportation equipment sector has surged 10% over the past twelve months.
On that note, Tesla announced January 24th that it plans to invest $3.6 billion at its massive Gigafactory in Nevada. The company plans to add 3,000 new jobs and two new facilities at the Sparks, NV site. The expanded facility will support battery production for 1.5 million vehicles and help the company crank out is line of high-volume Semi trucks.
This month, manufacturer of zero-emissions outdoor power equipment, Greenworks Commercial opened its first North American plant in Morristown, Tennessee. With plans to hire 150, the company’s New Center of Manufacturing and Engineering encompasses 180,0000 square feet and represents an investment of $25 million.
The new operation will focus on the manufacture of commercial and residential lithium-ion battery powered ride-on mowers. The company also has plans for expansion in late 2023 and 2024, including facility upgrades, adding a parts and service warehouse, and adding production of a commercial walk-behind mower. Greenworks currently produces more than 20,000 batteries and 30,000 motors per day across 10 global manufacturing sites.
West Virginia governor Jim Justice announces in his State of the State address this month that India-based TCL Specialties, LLC, plans to establish a food-ingredients plant in an industrial park in Marshall County. Representing an investment of $150 million, the new facility will create 50 jobs for the region.
Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lily and Company announced plans this month to expand the company’s footprint in North Carolina, investing an additional $450 million at its Research Triangle Park facility. The expansion will create another 100 jobs for RTP and allow the company to expand its parenteral filling, device assembly and packaging capacity as demand for the company’s diabetes treatment products broadens.
"As we move into 2023, Lilly is focused on finding innovative solutions to meet the growing demand for our medicines," said Edgardo Hernandez, executive vice president and president, Lilly Manufacturing Operations. "Expanding our operations at Research Triangle Park will accelerate the rate at which we can produce medicines that patients rely on to address serious health challenges like diabetes”.
Eli Lily opened its Research Triangle Park manufacturing facility in January of 2022.
Quantum computing leader IonQ announced plans to open the first dedicated quantum manufacturing facility in the United States, to be located in Bothell, a suburb of Seattle. The new facility will allow IonQ’s R&D and manufacturing teams to meet growing customer demand, part of the company’s plans to invest $1 billion in the Pacific Northwest over the next 10 years.
Encompassing 65,000 square feet, the planned operation will house a second quantum data center and will be the primary production engineering location for IonQ in North America, eventually employing thousands of workers.
“Advanced technologies like quantum computing are key to solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges such as climate change, energy, and transportation,” said Peter Chapman, CEO and President of IonQ. “The Seattle region has been a hub of tech innovation and manufacturing for decades, and has the skilled workforce we need to design, build and manufacture our quantum computers. As we planned our expansion, the Seattle area was an ideal option for our new facility. We’re excited to be among the other innovative companies who call Seattle home, many of which are IonQ partners and customers.”
In Alabama, Milo’s Tea Company announced plans on January 24th to establish a new facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The 75-year-old company plans to break ground in mid-2023 and start production of its popular tea and lemonade products in the fall of 2024. Representing an investment of $130 million and encompassing a facility measuring 110,000 square feet, the new South Carolina enterprise will bring more than 100 jobs to the region.
This will be Milo Tea Company’s fourth production facility in the U.S.
Said CEO Tricia Wallwork, "Our third-generation family business was founded by my grandfather, Milo Carlton, in north Birmingham, Alabama, and our purpose is and always has been to spark joy in everyday moments with our associates, customers, fans, and the communities we serve. We call these Milo's Moments, and we can't wait to make more of these in Upstate South Carolina as we join this vibrant community."
84 Lumber, the nation’s largest privately-owned building materials supplier announced multiple expansion plans for 2023. In addition to several new stores opening, the company plans to open new components plans in Winter Haven, FL’ Columbia, SC; Boise, ID; and Atlanta, GA. There are also plans in the works to establish a new door shop in Denver, CO.
"With the opening of these new stores and manufacturing facilities, we remain strong in our continued prospect for growth," said 84 Lumber President Maggie Hardy. "We value our customers and listen to what is important to them to grow their businesses. As a result, we are growing and expanding in two ways – opening new locations and investing in existing markets."
Meanwhile, Nestle Health Sciences announced January 18 that it plans to expand its Eau Claire, Wisconsin manufacturing facility, adding two new manufacturing lines to expand production of its ready-to-drink products.
The Eau Claire facility products a wide range of medical nutritional products. The new expansion will bring 60 jobs to the region.
"With this investment, Nestlé Health Science will expand and enhance our manufacturing facilities to better meet the needs of patients and consumers," said Gaëtan Sion, Vice President of Manufacturing, Nestlé Health Science U.S.
Phoenix Stamping Group officially opened a new manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Texas on January 1st.
Phoenix Stamping is a fast-growing family-owned business that specializes in metal stamping and fabrication, serving the material handling, towable trailer, truck aftermarket, transportation and agricultural equipment markets.
The new Fort Worth facility encompasses 80,000 square feet and will provide added capacity for metal stampings, fabrication, tool & die design and kitting & assembly.
China-based JA Solar, announced plans on January 10th to establish its first U.S. solar plant in Phoenix, Arizona. The new, $60 million operation will create more than 600 jobs and will focus on producing high-efficiency solar panels to be used in both commercial and residential settings as well as in utility-scale solar power plants.
“We are very excited to be able to set up the first U.S. solar module manufacturing facility in Arizona to provide our customers in the U.S. the flexibility and ease of access to JA Solar’s high-performance PV products,” said Aiqing Yang, President of JA Solar.
In New York, Plug Power officially opened a new $125 million, 350,000 square-foot manufacturing plant in Slingerlands on January 12th. The new operation will create more than 1,600 jobs and will focus on expanded production of its Gen Drive fuel cell systems, used to power electric motors.
CEO of Plug Andy Marsh said, "Plug is proud that its new world-class manufacturing and services facility in Albany County will contribute to New York State's goal for clean renewable energy,
Korea-based Ecoplastic Corporation, a major supplier to Kia and HMG, announced plans on January 5th to establish a new manufacturing facility in Bulloch County, Georgia. Ecoplastic Corporation manufactures plastic automobile parts for OEMs. The new facility represents an investment of $205 million and will create 456 jobs.
"Ecoplastic Corporation is honored to be engaged in establishing a production facility for electric vehicle parts in Bulloch County, Georgia," said Shang Han, President and CEO of Ecoplastic. "By increasing new jobs within the area and providing a stable supply of high quality products to our client, HMGMA, we look forward to contributing to the economic development of the State of Georgia and Bulloch County."
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