Skip to main content

South Carolina to Welcome $2 Billion Investment from EV Maker Scout Motors

Scout Motors Inc., the company credited with introducing the SUV in 1960, has announced plans to build its first manufacturing plant near Columbia, South Carolina. The $2 billion investment has the potential to create over 4,000 permanent jobs, making it a major boost to the state’s economy.

The groundbreaking for the plant is set for mid-2023, with production expected to start by the end of 2026. Backed by Volkswagen Group, Scout Motors is also evaluating options for outside investment.

Scout was represented in the site selection process by Vice Chairman Greg Lubar and Executive Managing Director Matt Jackson of JLL Capital Markets. The development site spans 1,600 acres, with the plant occupying 1,100 acres. The location, bordered by Blythewood Road and Interstate 77, is approximately 20 miles north of Columbia and is connected to major roads including Interstate 20 and 26 and highways 21 and 321, which will facilitate access to the ports of Savannah and Charleston.

South Carolina is making a concerted effort to become a major center for electric vehicle innovation. Governor McMaster issued an executive order in October 2022, prioritizing the building of EV infrastructure, preparing the state workforce for advanced manufacturing jobs, and organizing EV planning under a centralized state working group. The state’s major hubs for industrial development, particularly in Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg, continue to expand.

According to JLL’s 2022 fourth quarter report on South Carolina’s port, Charleston had 8.2 million square feet of industrial space under development to be delivered in 2023, of which 47 percent was already leased. Several industrial projects in the region exceeded 1 million square feet last year, and more are expected to come online soon.

scout motors ev concepts

The Southeast Emerges as a Top Destination for Automakers: Here's Why

In recent years, the Southeast region of the United States has emerged as a preferred destination for automakers looking to establish new manufacturing facilities. There are several reasons for this trend. Firstly, the region offers a strategic location that is well-connected to major markets in the US and overseas, making it an ideal hub for exporting finished products. Additionally, states in the Southeast offer competitive tax incentives and other forms of financial support to attract investment from automakers. These incentives, coupled with a skilled workforce and favorable business climate, make the region an attractive location for automakers looking to expand their operations.

Another key factor driving automakers to the Southeast is the region’s commitment to advanced manufacturing and innovation. Many states in the region have invested heavily in developing research and development infrastructure, including centers of excellence and innovation hubs that focus on cutting-edge technologies such as electric and autonomous vehicles. This has created a favorable environment for automakers looking to invest in research and development, and has helped to establish the Southeast as a leader in the automotive industry’s shift towards next-generation technologies. As a result, the region has become a hub for innovation and collaboration, attracting top talent and investment from around the world.

Our team is here to help.

Contact a project manager today!