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Michigan auto parts supplier to invest $59 million in Muscle Shoals plant, hire 279


A Michigan-based automotive supplier plans to invest $59 million into a Muscle Shoals plant to build battery trays for electric vehicles, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Tuesday. 

DURA Automotive Systems will lease a building in the Shoals Research Airpark from the Shoals Economic Development Authority (SEDA) and spend $59 million in manufacturing equipment and create 279 jobs, according to a press release from Ivey’s office. 

“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,” Ivey said in a statement. “DURA is a great addition to the network of world-class auto suppliers that is spreading across Sweet Home Alabama.”

“This investment represents Dura’s commitment to support global customers in the transition to electrified, high performance vehicles,” said Kimberly Rodriguez, DURA’s CEO, in a statement. “We are delighted to extend our well-established European expertise in design and manufacturing of lightweight structural architectures to the North American market. On behalf of Dura, we are excited to join the Muscle Shoals community and bring advanced technology jobs to the region.” 

The SEDA in 2019 spent $3 million to build the spec building DURA is to lease, and the agreement calls for the two entities to partner on an $11.5 million expansion and renovation of the building, according to the release. 

“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 said in a statement. “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.”

DURA has 6,700 workers in 31 facilities across 13 countries, according to the release. 

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

 “DURA Automotive Systems’ decision to locate its EV battery tray manufacturing facility in Muscle Shoals reflects the expanding capabilities of the automotive supply chain for electric vehicle production in Alabama,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, in a statement. “Our auto industry is focused on the future and will continue to adapt to meet all challenges.”

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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