The Savannah MSA’s manufacturing firms created approximately 17.6% of the area’s economic output as measured by GDP, accounting for $5.2 billion of output in 2022. As of mid-2023, the number of manufacturing establishments in the Savannah CSA was 464 firms employing 27,129 workers with average weekly wage of $1,646.

Manufacturers in the Savannah MSA gained approximately 500 workers (2.6%) during 2023. The manufacturing workforce was 19,800 at the end of 2023 and is expected to add about 1,200 workers in 2024. A review of recent announcements from headlining companies in the sector point toward a strong year in 2024.

Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America (HMGMA) announced the development of a $7.6 billion electric vehicle assembly and battery plant in Bryan County expected to begin production in early 2025. Upon build-out, the 3,000 acre site will host 16 million square feet of production facilities producing 300,000 vehicles per year and creating jobs for 8,100 workers earning annual wages of 58,105. 

Thirteen employers in the supply chain for HMGMA have announced hiring over 6,400 employees while investing an additional $2.4 billion in facilities in southeastern Georgia and concentrated in the Savannah region. Investment in supporting road, water, and other utilities projects totals $650 million. Workforce development initiatives are in the works to meet the labor needs of HMGMA, including development of a $63 million Quick Start Training Center. The Hyundai Metaplant is the first fully-dedicated electric vehicle manufacturing facility in the state and the largest economic development project in Georgia history. 

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation is the largest private employer in Savannah with a global workforce of 19,000+ workers in production, service, maintenance, engineering, and research and development. In April 2023, Gulfstream announced a $150 million capital investment and creation of 1,600 new jobs at its Savannah facilities. A maintenance, repair, and operations facility will open in 2024, adding 200,000 square feet and 250 new jobs. In October 2023, the precision-manufacturing facility in Savannah was completed, increasing capacity to service G400, G500, and G600 aircraft by 142,000 square feet.

Gulfstream aircraft attained new milestones in 2023. Flight testing of the G800 continued, with a second aircraft commencing testing in July. Additionally, the G700 and G800 engines received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. Early in 2023, Gulfstream was recognized for sustainability efforts, having piloted the first flight in the industry on 100% standard aviation fuel (SAF) at the end of 2022. Since then, the company completed the world’s first trans-Atlantic flight on SAF in November with the G600 aircraft  

JCB North American headquarters, centered in Savannah, is a 500,000 square-foot facility to support a network of over 115 dealers in the U.S. and Canada. In November 2023, JCB announced a partnership with Monster Jam, a motorsports experience. The partnership includes the construction of a new truck, the JCB DIGatron, and provides JCB with opportunities to connect with dealerships and provide equipment to support track construction at Monster Jam events in early 2024. Development of JCB’s hydrogen technology, which is part of the company’s zero carbon emissions solution, was underway throughout 2023. 

The Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) continues to work with its partners at the state and local level to attract new job opportunities and investment to Chatham County. As of December 2023, SEDA helped facilitate 3,731 new job opportunities and more than 2.53 billion in capital investment for the year. SEDA also received notable accolades in 2023, as they were awarded the 2023 McKinley “Mac” Conway Award for Excellence in Economic Development for the fifth year in a row by Site Selection magazine.

World Trade Center Savannah hosted 18 Global Education Programs with a total of 1,560 attendees in 2023. They returned to Ireland to advance the TradeBrigade program in addition to leading its very first trade mission to Ghana, which hosted 15 inbound delegations from countries including Vietnam, Austria, Belgium, South Korea and Liberia in 2023.

SEDA announced three tier 1 HMGMA suppliers, now located in the Savannah Chatham Manufacturing Center: Seoyon E-HWA, PHA, and Daechang Seat Savannah Corporation. The three suppliers will bring a total of 1,642 new jobs and $215 million in capital investment. Naturals2Go, a new company to the Savannah area, will also be located in the manufacturing center, bringing 125 new jobs and $80 million in capital investment. 

In Bryan County, the headlining development, mentioned above, continues to be development associated with the Hyundai Motor Group Megaplant America electric vehicle manufacturing facility. Hyundai Mobis, a supplier of Hyundai that will manufacture electric vehicle power systems in Belfast Commerce Park in Richmond Hill, employing about 1,600 workers in a $926 million plant. In 2023, the Development Authority of Bryan County (DABC) announced one new industry location, Tyler Distribution Center (TDC). TDC is a 3PL for the food and beverage industry. The project is located in the Belfast Commerce Park in Richmond Hill and represents 60 new jobs and a private capital investment of $29.7 million. The DABC also announced that existing industry C&H Precision, a manufacturer of firearm accessories, would develop a new facility in Richmond Hill to expand its operations. The project represents a private capital investment of $10 million, will retain approximately 45 jobs and will create approximately 20 new jobs.

Five industrial project commitments in Bulloch County will add 1,617 jobs and represent $1.1 billion in private investment. Joon Georgia was the first Hyundai supplier to announce their commitment in 2022 and will manufacture body parts for Hyundai and other automotive OEMs. This project has committed 630 jobs and $317 million in investment. Aspen Aerogels (high tech insulation for EVs) will locate a new manufacturing facility at Bruce Yawn Commerce Park. The project represents a commitment of 250 jobs and $325 million in capital investment on 90 acres. Revalyu Resources, an environmentally friendly recycling company will invest $210 million in a new PET plastic recycling facility in Gateway Regional Industry Park. When fully completed the cite will be capable of processing more than 200 tons per day of used plastic bottles into high quality sustainable PET polymers. This facility will employ 121 people. Two more Hyundai suppliers, Ecoplastic USA and Hanon systems, were announced in January and May of 2023. Ecoplastic USA, located near I-16, will invest $205 million and employ 456 people. Hanon systems, located in Gateway Regional Industrial Park, will invest $40 million and add 160 jobs. 

Effingham County’s manufacturing employment soared 30% to 2,304 persons in 2023. This sector is poised for continued growth, with an estimated average annual increase of 6% over the next five years. These developments coincide with the recent announcement of Sewon America, a tier 1 Hyundai supplier, to invest $300 million in the construction of a new manufacturing plant in Rincon, creating 740 new jobs. The Sewon America announcement represents the most substantial private investment ever recorded in the cities history. 

In response to these plants, the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority (ECIDA) acquired an additional 125-plus acres of land at Grande View Industrial Park, furthering solidifying the ECIDA’s efforts to promote manufacturing ventures in the area. New project inquires in 2022 surpassed pre-Covid levels, with a 31% increase in 2022 compared to 2019. Manufacturing requests, rose by 29% during that time. Early indicators point to 2023 as a record-breaking year for new project activity on Effingham County, tracking a 29% increase over 2022 prior to the end of 2023.

Liberty County manufactures employ about 2,150 workers, a 2.1% gain over 2022. Liberty County’s manufacturing landscaping is expected to grow with Seohan Auto Georgia and SNF Holdings. AN $80 million bond was issued for a new 300,000 SF manufacturing facility being constructed for Seohan Auto Georgia in Tradeport East Business Center. The Project will create 180 new jobs, and future expansion is expected to grow the plant to 490.000 square feet. The county’s largest employer, SNF Corporation, employs approximately 1,700 persons and is the second largest manufacturing employer in the seven-county Savannah combined statistical area. SNF acquired 62 acres of property to relocate Riceboro rail facilities will create 25 jobs in the area. 


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