Dura Automotive Systems opens factory in Muscle Shoals

The $75 million facility will produce electric vehicle battery enclosures.

Gov. Kay Ivey (center) looks on as Dura Muscle Shoals Plant Manager Paul Underwood cuts the ribbon at Dura Automotive Systems. (Governor’s Office/Hal Yeager)

Dura Automotive Systems opened its new manufacturing facility in Muscle Shoals Thursday. The 200,000-square-foot, $75 million facility will produce electric vehicle battery enclosures and employ 270 workers at peak production.

The lightweight aluminum EV battery enclosures are destined for Mercedes-Benz’s electric battery assembly plant in Bibb County.

“It has been 25 years since Mercedes-Benz helped launch our automotive industry, and in that time, Alabama has grown to become a national leader in vehicle exports,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “I’m incredibly excited to welcome Dura Automotive Systems to Alabama’s booming automotive industry, and I look forward to seeing this company continue to grow in our great state.”

The Muscle Shoals plant will be Dura’s first lightweight structures investment in North America. The high-tech manufacturing processes the facility will utilize will include advanced robotics and proprietary forming and joining technologies to create lightweight structures used for EV battery systems.

“This milestone event celebrates our continued partnership with customers to accelerate the transition to electrified, high-performance vehicles,” said Carl Beckwith, CEO of Dura.

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The Muscle Shoals factory boasts the following processes:

  • 60 robots, trained and conducted by technical experts, throughout the factory.
  • More than 500 light curtains, lasers and proximity switches are active to ensure safety for personnel throughout the site.
  • Extensive LED lighting throughout the building, controlled through motion activation to minimize energy consumption.
  • Advanced water treatment systems fed by reverse osmosis processes reduce water consumption and protect the clean water supply.

“This was a truly collaborative effort with local and global technology experts working hand-in-hand to bring to life an amazing site that will be the foundation for additional job creation in our community,” said Paul Underwood, Dura’s Muscle Shoals plant manager.

Planning and construction of the facility were completed in just eight months.

Dura Automotive Systems is a global automotive supplier, known for its innovative, highly integrated, mechatronic systems and lightweight solutions. The Muscle Shoals site is the company’s third new factory for lightweight EV battery structures in 18 months.

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