History is repeating itself as a leading-edge automotive manufacturer plans to start up its first U.S. electric vehicle (EV) production facility in York County.
Arrival plans to begin producing electric buses in 2021 in a 193,000-square-foot spec building, the second announcement at the Legacy Park East industrial park in Rock Hill.
The U.K.-based company is investing $46 million in the site, which will create 240 jobs and help Arrival execute on its plan to become a leading provider of emissions-free commercial trucks and buses.
After a regional search, the company landed on York County as the home for its “microfactory,” which will use innovative cell-based assembly methods rather than the traditional production line.
The microfactory concept is considered key to Arrival’s plan to accelerate mass adoption of zero-emission EVs by lowering costs and enabling the company to easily switch production among the vehicles in its portfolio.
A Ready Workforce and History of Innovation and Adaptation
A century earlier, the Anderson, a luxury automobile with some first-ever features like headlight foot dimmers and powered convertible tops, was produced in Rock Hill from 1916 to 1925.
Just as that early automotive innovator did, Arrival is relying on a skilled, ready workforce as it prepares to start operations in the second quarter of 2021 and production by the end of the year.
The proven experience of the readySC workforce-training program, presence of regional technical colleges and universities, as well as an attractive quality of life that draws thousands of new workers to the region each year, combined to ensure the availability of a committed, skilled workforce ready to take on this new way of manufacturing.
In fact, the region’s deep history in textiles and successful transition to diverse advanced materials manufacturing and distribution played a key role in Arrival’s decision to locate here. As did the cooperation of local economic development and government agencies in providing incentives to ensure the project could launch on sound financial footing.
Other factors included the availability of several industrial buildings, the proximity of Charlotte Douglas International Airport and uptown Charlotte, and South Carolina’s strength in the transportation equipment sector.
Working Together to Help Each Business Thrive
The company’s vertically integrated approach will use in-house developed components, materials and software while sourcing materials from surrounding regions through a localized supply chain.
Arrival is not alone. Manufacturers in multiple industries are also finding York County and the I-77 corridor an ideal setting to put in motion their unique visions of how to thrive in a challenging new global environment that calls for innovation, agility and efficiency.
Along with suppliers, local partners are essential to that success. Arrival’s “arrival” on the scene here on the I-77 corridor builds on the impressive record that our public and private stakeholders are building – creating a setting for success for innovators like Arrival.