One year, nine states, and 30 potential sites later, Salt Lake City-based Nikola Motor Company leaders have chosen the suburb of Buckeye, Arizona, as the new location for both their corporate headquarters and fully electric hydrogen semitruck manufacturing facility. Located about 40 minutes west of Phoenix, Nikola Motor Company will be investing $1 billion in the plant. This will likely have positive impacts for the U.S. economy by revving the nation’s auto manufacturing industry and spurring more job creation.
Nikola and Buckeye
The driving force behind opening the new facility is Nikola Motor Company’s mission to transform the transportation industry by developing and manufacturing innovative technologies — electric vehicles and drivetrains, components, as well as storage systems — to help improve the world we live in. These include everything from UTVs and watercraft to fully electric hydrogen semitrucks, 8,000 of which are already preordered according to the Fortune article.
The company’s new headquarters as well as its research and development department in Buckeye are scheduled to be fully operational by October 2018. Construction planning for the new 1-million-square-foot zero-emission manufacturing facility is underway with building slated to begin by the end of 2019.
Nikola Motor Company representatives and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced the company’s decision to relocate to Buckeye, the seventh fastest-growing city in the United States, in January 2018. The move and facility will bring approximately 2,000 jobs to the community along with Nikola’s $1 billion in capital investment projected by 2024. Additionally, in explaining the choice to move to Buckeye, Nikola Motor Company representatives said Arizona is ideal due to the state’s pro-business environment, entrepreneurial governor, abundance of engineering schools, educated workforce, and geographic location that provides direct access to markets.
American auto manufacturing
Leading up to the company’s decision, the auto manufacturing industry in the United States has seen increasing investment by both domestic and international automakers. Other companies investing in stateside manufacturing like Nikola Motor Company include Toyota and Mazda, Fiat Chrysler, and General Motors. In January 2018, Toyota and Mazda announced a plan to open a new $1.6 billion manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama, by 2021, which may bring up to 4,000 jobs. Additionally, Toyota plans to invest $10 billion overall in the United States over the next five years. Fiat Chrysler also announced earlier this year it will be investing $1 billion into its Michigan plant to transfer manufacturing from Mexico to Michigan in 2020, which will add 2,500 more jobs. General Motors also announced in January a $1 billion investment toward its vehicle manufacturing operations to either maintain current jobs or possibility add 1,500 new positions.
Both leaders of U.S. auto manufacturing companies such as those at Nikola Motor Company and international automakers are taking steps to invest in and reinvigorate the American auto manufacturing industry. Together, they are pioneering the way to increased American manufacturing opportunities while employing untapped local talent. In addition, they’re also benefitting the nation’s economy on both state and national levels, ultimately improving the quality of life, living standards, and economies in local communities as well.