Samsung is making moves … right on over to the United States. On January 12, the South Korean tech giant began production of washing machines at its new plant in Newberry, South Carolina — the company’s first U.S.-based home appliance manufacturing facility.
“When we selected South Carolina for our new manufacturing facility, we chose a state and a community that believe in the power of innovation, and has the workforce to back it up,” said Hyun Suk Kim, president and head of the CE division of Samsung Electronics.
Samsung has already hired over 540 employees to staff the facility, the company said; by 2020 the $380M plant will have created nearly 1,000 local jobs. And it doesn’t end there: Samsung claims to have enormous plans for U.S. manufacturing.
“Our ambition is for South Carolina to become Samsung’s U.S. hub for every stage in the home appliance lifecycle—from concept and R&D to manufacturing, quality assurance, distribution and customer care,” said Tim Baxter, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics North America, in a press release announcing the plant’s opening.
News of the plant was confirmed in March of 2017, when a senior Samsung official confirmed the previously reported rumors that the consumer electronics giant would bring the home appliances division north out of its current location in Mexico.
The confirmation came at a media event where Samsung debuted its newest premium washing machine known as the Flex Wash. At the unveiling, Suh Byung-sam, executive vice president of the digital appliances business, noted that the electronics maker was “seriously reviewing” its options.
“The company is observing recent global trends in order to enhance competitiveness abroad,” Suh said. “It is considering a plan to open a plant in the U.S. as part of mid- and long-term strategies.”
A Wall Street Journal report from 2017 noted that Samsung was looking at no fewer than five different states to become the new home of its American facilities, with South Carolina allegedly the most likely candidate. No additional States have been graded with a similar investment, and given Baxter’s comments, it seems unlikely any will.
Moving a portion of its manufacturing process to the U.S., could mean an increase in production of refrigerators, washers, dryers, and other home appliances, which could result in Samsung pouring money into the country. And appliances that don’t travel as far to reach your local store may cost less.
Samsung is by no means the only South Korean company looking to expand its operations in the U.S. LG has announced plans to build a new home-appliance manufacturing factory in Tennessee as well.
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