By Tim Baxter
After opening up shop in the U.S. nearly 40 years ago, Samsung’s decision to invest heavily in American innovation has paid off in dividends. We have grown our presence here considerably since then, with operations that currently support over 18,500 jobs across the country and pump billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.
Our U.S. footprint now takes the shape of cutting edge manufacturing, advanced R&D, and other direct investments that have transformed the way we live and work. From the revolutionary curved screen of the Galaxy S8 to the technology powering Harman International connected cars, American engineering is the force behind some of Samsung’s most elegant — and game changing — innovations.
There’s no question that our growing U.S. presence is anchored in strong consumer demand for these products. But it’s important to note that our ability to sustain that demand has been rooted in more than just production power alone. Rather, it has stemmed from our relentless focus on listening to our customers, immersing ourselves in their communities, and adapting to their changing needs and tastes.
This approach is exemplified by Samsung’s Home Appliances division. In our business, it’s the American consumers and their demand for luxury, convenience and efficiency that drives us to produce the highest quality electronics. That’s why we spent the last three years evaluating options for building a new U.S. manufacturing plant, as part of a broader strategy for sharpening Samsung’s competitive edge in the global appliance market.
And it’s the reason I’m so excited to share the culmination of that planning with you today:
Through a new $380 million investment, Samsung is proud to announce its commitment to opening an advanced appliance manufacturing plant in Newberry County, South Carolina. Located near the city of Columbia, this new facility will produce some of Samsung’s most popular and industry-leading home appliances, including washing machines.
We expect the facility to generate 954 local jobs, including advanced manufacturing positions like craftsmen, operators, engineers, and other both technical and non-technical positions. In fact, our decision to invest in the Newberry site was driven in large part by the region’s ability to support this type of highly skilled labor, through its proximity to a talented workforce and robust supply chain infrastructure.
We also see South Carolina as a long-term partner in our home appliance manufacturing growth, much like Texas has been to the Samsung Austin Semiconductor. The city of Austin has been an invaluable asset since the semiconductor manufacturing facility opened in 1997, allowing our investment to reach more than $17 billion and support more than 6,000 jobs.
The home appliance manufacturing plant in Newberry, Samsung’s second major U.S. manufacturing site, is the next milestone reinforcing our long-standing commitment to researching, developing and making things in America. Equally important, it establishes a long-term production base that will allow us to quickly adapt and deliver new products to American customers, the world’s largest and most important consumer market for premium home appliances.
For nearly four decades, Samsung has understood the critical importance of maintaining a robust U.S. presence. Proximity and collaboration with America’s innovation economy has made it possible for us to remain on the leading edge of the trends that are reshaping our world, from mobile and the Internet of Things to Artificial Intelligence and connected cars. It is this strong foundation that we are building on today, through an exciting new investment that cements our leadership in the global home appliance market and deepens our connection to the American consumers who are driving global trends.
Tim Baxter is president and CEO of Samsung Electronics America.