Samkee opens first U.S. factory in Tuskegee

The $128 million facility will employ more than 170 people

More than 300 company, state and local officials gathered to open Alabama’s newest auto supplier, Samkee Corp., in Tuskegee yesterday. Photo courtesy of Alabama Department of Commerce.

South Korea-based Samkee Corp. has opened its first U.S. auto parts production facility in the Tuskegee Commerce Park. The plant will employ more than 170 people making aluminum components, such as parts for engines, transmissions, electric vehicles and batteries, along with alloys.

“We are excited to have our first U.S. manufacturing footprint here in Tuskegee,” said Chihwan Kim, CEO of Samkee Corp. “This was only possible due to strong state and local leadership and support from the entire community. This important investment will help us continue our sustainable growth in the auto industry as well as strengthen automotive supply chain in the U.S.”

The plant, which will be a Tier 1 supplier to Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama in Montgomery, was first announced in February 2023.

“Samkee is a first-class addition to Alabama’s dynamic auto industry, and the opening of this state-of-the-art facility in Tuskegee demonstrates that the industry continues to gain horsepower in the state,” said Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Ellen McNair.

The Utilities Board of Tuskegee played a major role in the recruitment of Samkee. The board has invested in upgraded utilities at Tuskegee Commerce Park, and a new electrical substation is being built to accommodate Samkee’s future needs.

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“Attracting them and pulling this project off was a hard-fought effort,” said Gerald Long, general manager of UBT. “We will continue to work to ensure that Samkee’s new entry to Tuskegee is a successful and prosperous one.”

The Macon County Economic Development Authority and the City of Tuskegee were also involved in bringing the plant to the area. Site improvements and access road updates were done to accommodate the plant.

“The City of Tuskegee is very thankful and excited to begin casting a bright future with our newest partner, Samkee America,” said Tuskegee Mayor Tony Haygood. “Our rapid deployment and success in such a short period of time is an outstanding example of what we can accomplish when we all work together. The new jobs and investments throughout the county will benefit our citizens for years to come.”

The University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research analysis projects that the Samkee factory will generate $140.2 million in annual economic output in Macon County, contributing more than $37 million to the county’s GDP. New direct taxes revenues for schools and the community from the project are estimated at nearly $1.5 million per year.

According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, since 2015, foreign companies have invested more than $2 billion in growth projects in Alabama’s rural counties, with auto-related projects accounting for a large share of the total.

“Alabama’s rural communities offer manufacturers like Samkee all the essentials they need to find long-term success with their ventures,” said Brenda Tuck, rural development manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce.

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