ased on corporate end-user facility investment project data in the proprietary Conway Projects Database maintained by Site Selection publisher Conway Data, we have indexed capital expenditure and job creation data to determine the Top North American Deals and Top International Deals of the previous calendar year.
An early conceptual rendering of Ultium Cells LLC battery cell manufacturing facility in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
Image courtesy of GM
This year for the first time the projects are not presented in alphabetical order as in the past (sorry, Amazon!), but in rank order, with the top-ranked two blockbusters from Ford and Rivian the only tie among the North American projects and three ties among the international projects. Many of these projects already have received extensive coverage in Site Selection’s past issues and online at SiteSelection.com.
Rankings are fun to argue about, but there’s no arguing with the profound impact that will resound across the regions these projects have chosen for their investments.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana (TMMI) is investing $803 million and adding 1,400 jobs to its payroll of 7,000 in Princeton, Indiana.
Photo courtesy of Toyota
2021 Top Deals in North America
T1. Ford Motor Company | Stanton, Tennessee
$5.6 billion, 5,700 jobs
The “BlueOval City” segment of Ford’s $11.4 billion, 11,000-job mega-plan with SK Innovation for EV and battery production in Tennessee and Kentucky is landing on the Memphis Regional Megasite in Stanton, a long-simmering industrial site where Tennessee has invested $174 million to date. The entire site search “took a number of months,” said Greg Christensen, electric vehicle footprint director at Ford. “We were comprehensive in our look at over 20 states. We looked at nearly 100 potential sites. We looked at the land and physical characteristics of the site. That’s the starting point when you’re doing something of this scale. It was hard for states to meet the minimum requirements of this site. We need shovel-readiness.” In addition to land owned and controlled by the states, he said, power supply and sustainability were factors.
T1. Rivian Automotive, Inc. | Social Circle, Georgia
$5 billion, 7,500 jobs
“A helicopter ride, a fast-moving pickup truck and a rail line all served as difference-makers in delivering the single largest economic development project in Georgia history,” Ron Starner wrote in these pages about this project that’s headed to the Stanton Springs North site east of Atlanta, despite some resistance from local residents who see their bucolic setting about to be irrevocably changed. “It was a make-or-break moment,” Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson told Starner of the day Gov. Brian Kemp met on site with Rivian founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe to discuss the deal. “He [the governor] helicoptered in. R.J. was in a truck. They went for a ride, and they came back. Both CEOs knew this was the right place to be. I had the pleasure of sitting in the back seat while they were talking. That is a fast vehicle.” Site considerations included logistics (including within 100 miles of an international airport), environmental impact, renewable energy production, availability and quality of talent, and overall fit with Rivian culture.
3. Ford Motor Company / SK innovation Co., Ltd
| Glendale, Kentucky
$5.8 billion, 5,000 jobs
It’s been 20 years since this location was runner-up for the Hyundai plant that ended up in Alabama, but the Glendale megasite in Kentucky finally got its pot of gold when Ford’s mega-plans with SK Innovation were announced. Gabby Bruno, regional director of governmental affairs at Ford, told Ron Starner that longtime support from the state for its two plants in Louisville was a pivotal factor. “Business climate rankings done by Site Selection were used,” she said. “We were looking for good tax climate, access to markets, labor, regulatory environment, ease of doing business, and other business costs.” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told Site Selection’s Mark Arend, “Ford developed confidence in us … I looked them in the eye and said, ‘We will not let you down. We will get this done.’ The General Assembly was able to pass a bill giving some extra flexibility for what is the largest economic development project in our history. That was a big help, and we give them credit.”
4. Texas Instruments Incorporated | Sherman, Texas
$30 billion, 3,000 jobs
“Our future will be tied to our capability to manufacture these chips,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told Mark Arend in these pages in March. “Texas already had a good running start in chip manufacturing with both Samsung and Texas Instruments last year. Because we already had experience at this, it gave us a running start to be able to reach out to land these deals.” “Our commitment to North Texas spans more than 90 years, and this decision is a testament to our strong partnership and investment in the Sherman community,” said Rich Templeton, TI’s chairman, president and CEO.
5. Intel Corporation | Chandler, Arizona
$20 billion, 3,000 jobs
This massive investment followed a $12 billion chip fab announcement in the same region by TSMC in 2020. Greater Phoenix is the fourth largest market in the U.S. for employees in the sector, with a heritage tracing to Motorola’s operations in the 1950s. Intel’s two campuses in Chandler alone have an annual economic impact of $8.6 billion. “What people often don’t see is the supply chain implications,” Greater Phoenix Economic Council President and CEO Chris Camacho told me. There are more than 300 total firms evaluating the Phoenix region, and 45 of them are semiconductor manufacturing-related supply chain companies. “Those 45 companies represent 12,000 total jobs and the potential of $60 billion in total investment,” Camacho said.
6. Stellantis N.V. | Detroit, Michigan
$1.6 billion, 5,000 jobs
This project converted the current Mack Avenue Engine Complex into a vehicle assembly plant for production of the next generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and an all-new 3-row full-size SUV along with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models. The company also is investing $900 million to modernize its Jefferson North plant. “Through this process, we’ve come to learn that the community is very passionate about its need for a long-term commitment to education and career opportunities” said Christine Estereicher, director – state relations, civic engagement and external affairs for Stellantis, last April. “In response, we partnered with DPSCD and the City of Detroit and invested an additional $4 million to create the Advanced Manufacturing Career Academy, which we believe will benefit this community and Detroit for years to come.”
7. Oracle Corporation | Nashville, Tennessee
$1.2 billion, 8,500 jobs
Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s office in April 2021 announced Oracle’s proposal to bring this record investment to Nashville, with an average salary of $110,000 for the 8,500 new jobs. “We are thrilled that Oracle is ready to make a billion-dollar bet on Nashville,” said Cooper. Oracle’s commitment includes $175 million in public infrastructure. “In an unprecedented deal structure for Nashville, no new debt is being issued and there is no burden on our taxpayers,” Cooper said. Oracle’s presence will transform the East Bank, and I’m equally excited about the ways Oracle can transform education and career pipelines in Nashville.”
8. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. | Taylor, Texas
$17 billion, 2,000 jobs
This project is the largest foreign direct investment in Texas history. “After reviewing multiple locations within the U.S. for a potential manufacturing site, the decision to invest in Taylor was based on multiple factors, including the local semiconductor ecosystem, infrastructure stability, local government support and community development opportunities,” the company said in a release. “In particular, the proximity to Samsung’s current manufacturing site in Austin, about 25 kilometers southwest of Taylor, allows the two locations to share the necessary infrastructure and resources.”
9. Ford Motor Company
| Wayne and Dearborn, Michigan
$1.5 billion, 3,000 jobs
This expansion at two Southeast Michigan plants, originally announced at the tail end of 2019, has encountered even more market opportunity than originally planned. In September 2021, strong demand for its F-150 Lightning pickup prompted Ford to announce it would double production at the Dearborn plant. That prompted the state to double the amount of tax incentives originally awarded to the Dearborn part of the projects. As documented in the original plan, Ford is investing $750 million and adding 2,700 new direct jobs at the manufacturing facility in Wayne to build the new Ford Bronco and Ford Ranger and a new modification center.
10. Google LLC | New York, New York
$2.1 billion, 2,000 jobs
Google announced in September this investment to buy the St. John’s Terminal office building on the Hudson River, the biggest single purchase office deal since the pandemic began. “New York’s energy, creativity and world-class talent are what keep us rooted here and why we’re deepening our commitment with plans to purchase St. John’s Terminal,” said Ruth Porat, CFO at Google and its parent company Alphabet.
11. Amazon.com, Inc. | Erlanger, Kentucky
$1.5 billion, 2,000 jobs
Amazon Air Hub operations began in August at the site at Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport where Amazon Air first broke ground in 2019. The facility serves as the hub of operations for an interconnected network of more than 40 Amazon Air sites. Sarah Rhoads, vice president of Amazon Global Air,wrote in a blog. “As a former U.S. Navy F/A-18 E/F pilot, I have had the honor of leading many successful operations, and this one is truly special,” she wrote. “Seeing the Amazon Air Hub come alive is like witnessing an operational symphony.”
12. Toyota Motor North America, Inc. / Toyota Tsusho Corporation | Liberty, North Carolina
$1.3 billion, 1,750 jobs
As Gary Daughters reports in this issue, this EV battery plant will be built “at the 10-year-old Greensboro-Randolph County Megasite, the disappointed bridesmaid in the battle for the Mazda Toyota mega factory that went to Huntsville, Alabama, in 2018,” Daughters recounts, noting the more than $60 million invested at the megasite by the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite Foundation, Randolph County and North Carolina Railroad. Locals resisted the urge to convert to an industrial park. Changes to the language governing North Carolina’s Job Development Incentive Grant program were crucial to landing the project.
13. Ultium Cells LLC / General Motors Company / LG Energy Solution, Ltd. | Spring Hill, Tennessee
$2.3 billion, 1,300 jobs
Ultium Cells will build the new plant on land leased from GM. The 2.8-million-sq.-ft. plant is scheduled to open in late 2023, and will supply battery cells to GM’s Spring Hill assembly plant. ““The support of the state of Tennessee was an important factor in making this investment in Spring Hill possible,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, “and this type of support will be critical moving forward as we continue to take steps to transition our manufacturing footprint to support EV production.”
14. Blue Star Manufacturing Company, LLC
| Wytheville, Virginia
$714 million, 2,464 jobs
Then-Governor Ralph Northam announced this project from a joint venture rubber and medical glove manufacturer in October, giving credit for the attraction of the investment to $8.5 million the state spent to upgrade infrastructure at Progress Park. The plant is expected to produce 60 billion medical gloves a year. Blue Star’s contiguous manufacturing facilities are expected to occupy more than 200 acres, and have the potential to triple in size in future phases and incorporate multiple large-scale vertically integrated production plants. “It comes with great pleasure and an even greater sense of responsibility to bring critical medical supply manufacturing back to the U.S.,” said Blue Star NBR Founder Ken Mosher.
15. Walt Disney Co. | Orlando, Florida
$864 million, 2,000 jobs
Way before its special Reedy Creek Improvement District was taken away by Gov. Rick Desantis and the Florida Legislature, Walt Disney Co. in July announced plans to invest in a new campus in Lake Nona that is slated to welcome 2,000 jobs being moved from California by the end of 2023. The company was approved for a capital investment tax credit that would be worth up to $570 million over 20 years. Average annual wage for the jobs? $120,000. The company cited such advantages as proper road networks for commuting, schools not at capacity, available housing and the state’s lack of an income tax, according to state documents studied by the Orlando Business Journal. According to current reports by Bloomberg, Disney’s tax break for the new campus has been left untouched by state government.
16. Apple Inc. | Raleigh, North Carolina
$552 million, 3,000 jobs
Apple last April picked North Carolina’s Research Triangle region as the location for its R&D campus. Apple plans to invest more than $1 billion in the state by 2032. Apple will set up a $100 million fund to support schools and community initiatives across the state. The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s efforts to attract Apple’s new R&D campus. Apple’s project will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) that authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $845.8 million. Apple’s new positions over the entire period of the grant will offer salaries that average $187,001.
17. Sanofi | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
$455 million, 1,225 jobs
The Government of Canada will invest up to C$415 million to support Sanofi Pasteur in building an influenza vaccine biomanufacturing facility in Toronto. The company will also invest at least C$79 million a year to fund Canadian R&D. Over the 12 months leading up to the March announcement, the Canadian government invested more than C$1 billion to advance industrial R&D in vaccines and pharmaceuticals as well as expand biomanufacturing capacity. “We welcome the ongoing partnership with the Canadian authorities, who supported us to make today’s great news a reality,” said Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson. “This will make the country, which has a strong legacy in vaccines research and development, one of our key hubs in our effort to protect and improve human health across the globe.”
18. Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, Inc.
| Princeton, Indiana
$800 million, 1,400 jobs
This investment was unveiled just ahead of Toyota’s plans to unveil two all-new, three-row electrified SUVs, at a plant Toyota broke ground for 25 years earlier in a cornfield. One new model will carry the Toyota name; the other will bring the Lexus line to Princeton. This announcement brings total investment to $6.6 billion at the Indiana facility, which before this expansion already employed 7,000 people. “Expanding our Toyota family by 1,400 is a challenge we are eager to accept,” said Leah Curry, TMMI president. “This is a testament to the strong workforce in the Southwest Indiana region.”
19. Kore Power, Inc. | Buckeye, Arizona
$500 million, 3,000 jobs
As documented in the Arizona spotlight in this issue, KORE’s lithium-ion battery storage manufacturing facility aligns with Buckeye’s strategy to be a center of green technology development known as “Sustainable Valley.” “KORE Power has spent the last two years evaluating sites across the country,” said Lindsay Gorrill, KORE Power CEO, last August. “We needed a location for the KOREPlex that had a track record of supporting clean energy technology. The city of Buckeye offers proximity to complementary industries, workforce and logistics capacity, and a pro-business environment.”
20. CoStar Group, Inc. | Richmond, Virginia
$460 million, 2,000 jobs
CoStar reported in its very own news service in December about its plans to expand a research and technology center in Richmond with a two-building complex for its corporate campus on the banks of the James River. A 26-story LEED-certified tower is part of a 750,000-sq.-ft. complex that will bring the company’s footprint on the river to more than 1 million sq. ft., where CoStar will ultimately welcome as many as 3,000 employees. In the CoStar News writeup of the announcement, CoStar founder and CEO Andrew Florance touted a return to the office as he celebrated the expansion: “I can’t imagine as a young professional building my career I wouldn’t want to be right here in this amazing campus interacting with a bunch of really bright people,” he said. “I would not want to be sitting in my closet with a little pop-up desk.”
1. Automobile Joint Venture Group
Gemlik, Bursa, Turkey
$3.7 billion, 4,300 jobs
2. Risen Energy Co., Ltd.
Kulim, Kedah, Malaysia
$10 billion, 3,000 jobs
Zahirabad, Telangana, India
$1.5 billion, 24,000 jobs
T4. Nanya Technology Corporation
New Taipei City, Taiwan
$10.7 billion, 2,000 jobs
T4. Suzano S/A
Ribas do Rio Pardo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
$2.8 billion, 3,000 jobs
6. SK Innovation Co., Ltd
Ivancsa, Fejer Megye, Hungary
$2.3 billion, 2,500 jobs
7. H2 Green Steel
Boden, Norrbotten, Sweden
$3 billion, 1,500 jobs
8. Davidson Kempner Capital Management/Pioneer Point Partners
Sines, Distrito de Setubal, Portugal
$3.9 billion, 1,200 jobs
9. Jindal Steel Andhra Limited/Jindal (India) Limited
Thamminapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
$1 billion, 2,500 jobs
10. Powertech Technology Inc.
$719 million, 2,000 jobs
11. JBS S/A
Rolândia, Paraná, Brazil
$348 million, 2,600 jobs
12. RUSAL OAO
Taishet, Irkutskaya Oblast, Russia
$1.6 billion, 1,000 jobs
13. Siltronic AG
$3 billion, 600 jobs
14. KCC GLASS Corporation
Batang, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia
$350 million, 1,300 jobs
T15. Tesla, Inc.
$188 million, 4,000 jobs
T15. Amazon.com, Inc.
Dartford, England, United Kingdom
$282 million, 1,300 jobs
Dresden, Saxony, Germany
$1.2 billion, 700 jobs
$1 billion, 700 jobs
19. Envision AESC Japan Ltd.
Sunderland, England, United Kingdom
$622 million, 750 jobs
20. EcoPro BM
Debrecen, Hajdu-Bihar, Hungary
$822 million, 631 jobs
Adam Bruns has served as managing editor of Site Selection magazine since February 2002. In the course of reporting hundreds of stories for Site Selection, Adam has visited companies and communities around the globe. A St. Louis native who grew up in the Kansas City suburbs, Adam is a 1986 alumnus of Knox College, and resided in Chicago; Midcoast Maine; Savannah, Georgia; and Lexington, Kentucky, before settling in the Greater Atlanta community of Peachtree Corners, where he lives with his wife and daughter.