A division of German engineering giant Siemens AG will build a passenger rail car manufacturing plant in Lexington, a town of 20,000 people in the Piedmont Triad region.
Siemens Mobility will invest $220 million and bring 506 jobs to Davidson County when it starts operations next year in its manufacturing and rail services center, Gov. Roy Cooper and company officials announced Tuesday.
The Lexington site will be the company’s “new East Coast hometown,” says Siemens Mobility CEO Marc Buncher. “Now is the moment in time for rail in America and this facility supports our strategy to grow in close proximity to our customers as well as provide us with the added capacity needed to push the boundaries of innovation.”
Siemens Mobility said the plant will help meet a growing demand for public transit and intercity rail travel in the U.S.
“America’s investing in rail – and we are investing in America,” said Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens AG.
Siemens has invested $3 billion in manufacturing expansions in the U.S. over the past four years, including nearly $400 million to grow its U.S. manufacturing footprint and more than $2.5 billion in U.S. acquisitions.
Siemens Mobility has been making railway vehicles in the U.S. since 1984 and the Lexington plant will work with established operations in Sacramento, California to increase capability. Including Lexington, Siemens Mobility has a total of nine manufacturing facilities in the U.S., 4,000 employees and more than 2,000 U.S. suppliers
Siemens Mobility has four core areas of focus include rolling railway vehicles, rail automation and electrification, and a comprehensive software portfolio among other offerings. The business employs more than 38,000 workers.
Siemens Mobility’s advanced manufacturing center in North Carolina will involve multiple buildings on the 200-acre site, which will also feature more than 11,000 feet of rail track. The company will manufacture passenger rail vehicles at the Lexington facility, allowing it to better serve its East Coast customers while meeting growing demand for its products.
The average salary for the new positions will be $51,568. The current average wage in Davidson County is $49,956.
Siemens Mobility’s project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a $5.64 million Job Development Investment Grant, spread over 12 years. It requires Siemens to meet investment and hiring targets
Davidson County will offer the company as much as $7 million in tax breaks over the next 12 years, said Craig Goodson, CEO of the Davidson County Economic Development Commission. Lexington will also provide as much as $8 million over the same period, including tax breaks and expenses related to the relocation of water, sewer and natural gas utilities.
“Siemens is a great name, a great company,” Goodson said.
Piedmont Triad Partnership CEO Mike Fox said, “The investment by Siemens Mobility in Lexington and the Carolina Core region adds to our profile as a leader in innovation and ‘TransporTech. The new manufacturing facility will provide high quality jobs as well as innovative transportation equipment, joining other significant new employers like Toyota Battery, Boom Supersonic and VinFast in the region that has emerged as North Carolina’s next economic engine.”
Siemens chose the Lexington site over a South Carolina offer, Siemens officials told Fox.