Michigan-based, Dura Automotive Systems has announced plans to invest US$59m to open a manufacturing facility in Muscle Shoals, producing battery trays for electric vehicles.

The project, which includes support from the Shoals Economic Development Authority, will create 279 direct jobs.

"I'm very excited to see Dura Automotive Systems make a significant investment in Alabama and create career opportunities for our hard-working citizens in the Shoals," said Governor, Kay Ivey.

The Alabama facility extends Dura's South Eastern manufacturing footprint and will support the company's business development efforts as US EV battery production ramps up.

"This investment represents Dura's commitment to support global customers in the transition to electrified, high performance vehicles," added Dura CEO, Kimberly Rodriguez.

"We are delighted to extend our well-established European expertise in design and manufacturing of lightweight structural architectures to the North American market."

Dura will invest US$59m in manufacturing equipment and will lease an existing building in the Shoals Research Airpark from the Shoals Economic Development Authority (SEDA).

In 2019, SEDA invested US$3m on the pad and shell for the speculative building as part of its long-term economic development strategy. SEDA has agreed to partner with Dura on a US$11.5m expansion and build-out of the structure's interior.

"This project is the culmination of a lot of hard work and vision from our community leadership," said SEDA president, Kevin Jackson.

"They had the forethought to invest in infrastructure and assets to allow the Shoals to compete for projects on a global scale.

"It's because of them and the exceptional workforce of the Shoals that today is possible. I want to commend the work of our staff, the Alabama Department of Commerce and TVA for landing this project in the Shoals."

Auburn Hills, Michigan-based, Dura is a global automotive supplier specialising in the design, engineering and manufacturing of solutions which drive mobility evolution.

The company has 6,700 employees worldwide and operates 31 facilities in 13 countries.

"Dura Automotive Systems' decision to locate its EV battery tray manufacturing facility in Muscle Shoals reflects the expanding capabilities of the automotive supply chain for electric vehicle production in Alabama," noted Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, Greg Canfield.

"Our auto industry is focused on the future and will continue to adapt to meet all challenges."