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Nissan Dismisses Rumors It Will Reduce Electric Car Battery Production in Tennessee
WASHINGTON - Japanese automaker Nissan is dismissing speculation that it intends to scale back electric car battery production at its U.S. plant in Tennessee. Nissan's ambitious electric vehicle program has been a signature initiative of Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive at both Renault and Nissan. "The Renault-Nissan Alliance remains 100 percent committed to its industry-leading EV program," spokesman Travis Parman said in a statement. "This global commitment continues for the foreseeable future, and we have not taken any decision whatsoever to modify battery sourcing allocation." Parman said Nissan has no plans to "impair" its battery investments in the United States or Britain. Industry Week
Submitted 12 hours ago

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Mexico becoming force in automotive industry
AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico — It might be a stretch to describe Aguascalientes in north-central Mexico as the new Detroit. But it wouldn’t be a huge stretch. Mexico’s automotive sector is at full throttle, and Aguascalientes is one of several cities primed by foreign car manufacturers to rev its engines. Once a sleepy railway crossroads, Aguascalientes now has two massive auto plants and a third on the way. This is making it what one national newspaper called a “mini-Detroit.” “We’re going to produce 1.1 million vehicles just in Aguascalientes by 2020,” said Rodolfo Esau Garza de Vega, head of economic development in the state. Nearly every major global automaker now either builds in Mexico or plans to erect an assembly plant in the country. Billions in investment have arrived. Austin American Statesman
Submitted 12 hours ago

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Big River Steel breaks ground on $1.3 billion Osceola, Ark., steel mill and recycling facility
OSCEOLA, Arkansas (September 22, 2014) – Big River Steel LLC today broke ground on its new $1.3 billion steel mill and recycling facility in Osceola, Arkansas. Big River’s investment of more than a $1.3 billion in Arkansas is the single largest private investment in the state’s history. Joining local, state and federal officials for the ceremony were Big River Steel leaders and investors. Big River Steel’s Osceola facility will employ more than 500 people with an average annual compensation of $75,000. Construction of the facility will take approximately 20 months from groundbreaking to complete. Big River Steel announced plans in early 2013 to build the “flex mill”, combining the cost advantages and flexibility of a traditional mini mill with the production capabilities in gauge, grade and width of an integrated mill. The facility will produce a full range of high-strength, light-weight steels used in the automotive industry, wide and thick steels used in the most demanding pipe and tube applications, and electrical steels used in the energy industries. Arkansas EDC
Submitted 12 hours ago

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SpaceX ready to launch construction of world’s first vertical rocket site near Brownsville, Texas
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will break ground on a site just outside Brownsville to launch its Falcon 9 rocket in the Rio Grande Valley. The Hawthorne, Calif.-based company already has launch sites at Vandenburg, Calif., and Cape Canaveral, Fla. But the one at Boca Chica Beach on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico and the Rio Grande will be the world’s first vertical rocket launch site. SpaceX spent the last three years exploring possible sites in Georgie, California, Virginia, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Florida before settling in on Brownsville. The Federal Aviation Administration gave the project the green light just this month. San Antonio Business Journal
Submitted 12 hours ago

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New $6B LNG export facility could be built in Galveston
A local company reportedly is considering building a $6 billion liquefied natural gas export facility on Pelican Island, north of Galveston Island. The Woodlands-based NextDecade is in the “final stages” of securing financing for the project, which would be on 185 acres on the northeast corner of Pelican Island, the Houston Chronicle reports. The Galveson Wharves trustees are expected to consider on Sept. 22 whether to lease the land to NextDecade. BP PLC (NYSE: BP) previously abandoned plans to build an LNG import facility at the site after it leased the land more than a decade ago, the Chronicle reports. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 13 hours ago

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Keeping Georgia No. 1 for business
At their annual meeting in Savannah last week, more than 700 members of the Georgia Economic Development Association celebrated a nearly unprecedented trifecta as Georgia was declared the No. 1 state in which to do business no fewer than three times this year — by CNBC, Site Selection Magazine and, most recently, by Area Development Magazine. Not surprisingly, statistics recently released by the governor’s office reflect that success. “In fiscal 2014, Georgia had 374 economic development announcements reflecting more than 28,000 new jobs and $5 billion in investment,” said Jennifer Nelson of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Savannah Morning News
Submitted 13 hours ago

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Numbers don't lie: Northern Virginia commercial real estate is hurting
We all know the litany of woes that have befallen the Washington area commercial real estate market: Base Realignment and Closure, the Great Recession, the new federal mandate for more efficient use of space. But its impact is most profoundly being felt in Northern Virginia, The Washington Post reports, with conditions as bad as they have been in a quarter of a century. The troubles are far out and close in. Western corridor Route 28 near Dulles Airport is home to 13 office buildings that sit completely empty, while the Rosslyn submarket on the banks of the Potomac River is struggling with 30 percent vacancy of its office space. At least one new building in Rosslyn, 1812 North Moore St., has no takers, and some of the old, empty properties may need to be put out of their misery. Washington Business Journal
Submitted 13 hours ago

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A green light for redeveloping former Atlanta GM plant project
Egbert Perry and his development group plan to begin demolishing the former Doraville General Motors plant within the next month — eventually turning 162 acres just north of Atlanta into 20 blocks of office buildings, housing, stores and restaurants. Over time, Perry believes the GM redevelopment has the potential to knit Atlanta’s politically and geographically tattered region together. Perry, chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based The Integral Group LLC, expected to close on the acquisition of the plant from General Motors by Sept. 19, paying close to $60 million. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted 13 hours ago

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Packager opens new Sarasota plant
Packaging innovator PPi Technologies Group spent $5.4 million on a new, 100,000-square-foot Sarasota manufacturing plant. And the Sarasota-based company says it is likely to spend another $5 million within the next five years to keep up with demand for its contract packaging services. The bottom line: It's payroll could easily double to 100 from the current 49 within that time, founder Charles Murray said at a celebration of the plant's opening on Friday. PPi specializes in developing unique packaging solutions for other companies. Its original line of work, which is going strong, is to design and build packaging machinery for clients to use in their own food-processing plants. Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Submitted 13 hours ago

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French aerospace giant meets with Melbourne, Fla. workers
The head of French defense and aerospace giant, Thales Group, was in Melbourne Thursday to officially welcome the employees of LiveTV into the Thales family. He also had a point to make. Thales is huge: a $19 billion company with 65,000 employees in 56 countries. It's involved in global aerospace, defense and transportation. LiveTV, the Harris Corp. spinoff acquired by Thales in March, is headquartered in Melbourne and has about 500 workers who design live television and wireless systems and install them on commercial air carriers so passengers can watch TV and other entertainment while traveling. Florida Today
Submitted 14 hours ago

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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

The America South is home to almost as many residents as the Northeast and the Midwest combined, but even that statistical record is about to be broken. According to a new Census Bureau study that came out in April, 51 percent of the nation's population jump occurred in the South from 2010 to 2013.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Stacy Randle
Demographer Wendell Cox recently analyzed the largest gains in holders of bachelor's and post-graduate degrees between 2007 and 2012 in the 51 metro regions in the U.S. of 1 million residents or more. The results were published in Forbes magazine and the South dominated the ranking.
 

 Business News in the South - Randle Report

FEATURE     
This is our annual "Made in the South" issue and it's timely because there is a new player in the South's manufacturing universe. For almost two decades, economic developers and politicos in the South and the U.S. have been chasing Chinese projects with little or nothing to show. Want proof we've been chasing ghosts in China for years? Okay, go ahead and name a Chinese brand that's made in the South? Tick. . .tick. . .tick. Give up?
 
 Nashville Mayour Karl Dean

We try to change up the categories in our annual Ten Top 10s section, but we always include the "Ten People Who Made a Difference" category. This year though, we are honoring 12 and you will learn why by reading about this group of folks who have made a difference in the South. Here is our annual list that includes executives, economic developers and politicians who have made a difference in the South's economy.


 


 

 

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