COTTONDALE, AL—SMP Automotive Systems Alabama Inc. is constructing a $154 million assembly plant here. Expected to employ 650 people, the 700,000-square-foot factory will make bumpers, door panels and other parts for Mercedes-Benz.
BARDSTOWN, KY—Thai Summit Kentucky Corp. will invest $110 million to build a new stamping and assembly plant here after signing a deal to supply parts for Ford Motor Co. The company anticipates creating 216 full-time jobs in the coming decade.
OAK RIDGE, TN—Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a 20-kilowatt wireless charging system for electric vehicles. The system is said to be three times more efficient than plug-in systems.
DETROIT—General Motors is turning its employees’ recycled water bottles into noise-reducing fabric insulation that covers the engine in the Chevrolet Equinox. The bottles—collected from five of its Michigan facilities—are also being turned into air filtration components and insulation for winter coats for the homeless.
NEW YORK—The United States sits just behind China in terms of manufacturing competitiveness in 2016, and is expected to overtake the country by 2020, according to a study by consulting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
GEORGETOWN, KY – When one thinks of the skills necessary for auto manufacturing, origami probably doesn’t appear on the list. But the ability to create an origami cat, one-handed, with a non-dominant hand is a critical first step in the training process for stitching the instrument panel of the Lexus ES.
DEARBORN, MI—Ford Motor Co. will invest $1.6 billion to build a new assembly plant in Mexico for the manufacture of small vehicles. Work on the facility will start this summer in the state of San Luis Potosi, and the factory will create 2,800 direct jobs.
PALO ALTO, CA—Tesla Motors Inc. has received more than 325,000 reservations for its new Model 3 sedan. The pre-orders represent “about $14 billion in implied future sales, making this the single biggest one-week launch of any product ever,” the company said.