Mon, May 20, 2024

Another manufacturer heading to the CSRA

While Richmond and Columbia counties have been in the economic development spotlight recently, Aiken County is joining in the economic success.

Columbia Vehicle Group, an electric vehicle manufacturer based in Reedsburg, Wis., is moving its manufacturing operations to University Parkway in Aiken.

The $12.2 million plant will mark the company’s first location in the Palmetto State. It will create 180 new jobs.

“We’ve been investing in great communities since 1947 with Aiken being a superb fit for our continued global expansion of the Tomberlin and Columbia brands. It has been a pleasure working with Aiken County and the S.C. Department of Commerce,” said Columbia Vehicle Group CEO, Michael Tomberlin in a news release.

Columbia builds vehicles for industrial and commercial uses, marketed under the Columbia and Tomberlin brands. Products include golf carts, utility vehicles, and e-bikes that are sold globally.

“We are proud to welcome Columbia Vehicle Group to South Carolina’s thriving electric vehicle industry. This investment and the 180 jobs it will create in Aiken County represent another victory for our state’s exceptional workforce, and we look forward to the impact this will have throughout South Carolina in the years ahead,” the news release quoted Gov. Henry McMaster.

The company is transferring its manufacturing operations from Florida and Wisconsin. It has purchased the nearly 155,000 square-foot facility, at 2063 University Parkway. The location has also been home to the former R.E. Phelon Company, now Fenix Manufacturing.

“The adaptive reuse of an existing building and the continued diversification of our manufacturing sector is impactful to Aiken County,” said Western SC Economic Development Partnership Chairman, Gary Stooksbury in the release.

Columbia Vehicles Group joins the list of many other large-scale manufacturing facilities in Aiken, including Bridgestone, Kimberly Clark, and Owens Corning.

The company is making the move, citing closer proximity to customers and its supply chain.

Aiken County Council Chairman, Gary Bunker is quoted saying, “Columbia Vehicle Group’s selection of Aiken County for its manufacturing operations highlights our county’s low tax, manufacturing-friendly environment. We appreciate the confidence that Columbia places in our community and look forward to partnering with them in attracting additional industrial investment and job creation.”

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development provided a $100,000 grant to the county to assist with the costs of building improvements.

The company is beginning the relocation process and expects it will be completed in 18 months.

Individuals interested in joining the company should email

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