MUSCLE SHOALS, AL—DURA Automotive Systems plans to invest $59 million to open a manufacturing facility here that will produce battery trays for electric vehicles.

The project, which includes critical support from the Shoals Economic Development Authority, will create 279 direct jobs and expands the potential for Alabama’s auto industry to capitalize on the growing EV wave.

“I’m very excited to see DURA Automotive Systems make a significant investment in Alabama and create career opportunities for our hard-working citizens in the Shoals,” says Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. “DURA is a great addition to the network of world-class auto suppliers that is spreading across Sweet Home Alabama.”

The Alabama facility extends DURA’s Southeastern manufacturing footprint and will support the company’s business development efforts as U.S. EV battery production ramps up over the next several years.

“This investment represents Dura’s commitment to support global customers in the transition to electrified, high performance vehicles,” says Kimberly Rodriguez, DURA CEO. “We are delighted to extend our well-established European expertise in design and manufacturing of lightweight structural architectures to the North American market.

Under the terms of the project, DURA will invest $59 million in manufacturing equipment and will lease an existing building in the Shoals Research Airpark from the Shoals Economic Development Authority (SEDA).

In 2019, SEDA invested $3 million on the pad and shell for the speculative building as part of its long-term economic development strategy. SEDA has agreed to partner with DURA on an $11.5 million expansion and build-out of the structure’s interior.

“This project is the culmination of a lot of hard work and vision from our community leadership. They had the forethought to invest in infrastructure and assets to allow the Shoals to compete for projects on a global scale,” SEDA President Kevin Jackson says. “It’s because of them and the exceptional workforce of the Shoals that today is possible. I want to commend the work of our staff, the Alabama Department of Commerce, and TVA for landing this project in the Shoals.”

Muscle Shoals Mayor David Bradford welcomed DURA’s investment in the Northwest Alabama community.

“I am thankful our community has invested in the necessary infrastructure to make a deal like this possible,” Bradford says. “Through the pandemic, we continue to strive for economic development and good jobs, and this announcement delivers both.”

Based in Auburn Hills, MI, DURA has 6,700 employees worldwide and operates 31 facilities in 13 countries.