Foreign Investment into Tennessee 2022

Tables and Graphs

Map of 2022 Investment

Trends: Employment

Trends: Value and Number

Where It Came From

Last year saw the largest single foreign investment into Tennessee in the state’s history.  In November LG Chem announced its development of a $3.2 billion cathode manufacturing facility in Clarksville. This follows a huge LG investment in 2021 (that in association with GM). Both relate to building batteries for electric vehicles. This one investment accounted for about sixty percent of the total foreign investment into the state in 2022.

Announced investment for 2022 totaled about $5.4 billion in all. This easily surpassed any recent year except 2021.  As a matter of fact, even if LG had not of made its decision, 2022’s foreign investment would still have been Tennessee’s largest of any year other than 2021. Twenty-one individual investments from twelve different countries were announced over the course of the year. They combined to create 4,531 jobs in sixteen different communities.

East Asia Dominates...

Almost half of the new investments came from either South Korea or Japan. Each was the home country of five. Korea, of course, is the home of LG. That firm made another large investment this past year by expanding its Spring Hill battery venture ($275 million). The Korean tire manufacturer Hankook created Tennessee’s second largest investment (by dollar value) by expanding its Clarksville operations to the tune of $612 million. Japan, long Tennessee’s largest source of foreign investment was the home of the state’s third largest investment, a $550 million expansion of the Bridgestone plant in Morrison. In total, Japanese firms invested $687 million in the state while the four other Korean investments added another $1 billion to that $3.2 billion announcement.

Rather surprisingly there was only one Canadian firm investing in the state this past year (Limestone Boat Co.), the lowest number in some time. There was plenty of European investment though. Businesses in EU nations combined to account for seven new investments adding $429 million and 742 new jobs to the state economy. Investments by Gerdau (Brazil) and Quanta Manufacturing (Taiwan) complete the picture.

Clarksville Dominates...

Jackson and Lebanon were both the sites of two investments.  But Clarksville was by far 2022’s investment champion, attracting four foreign investments as Hankook, Kewpie, and Ferrari Stampi joined LG in new or expanded Montgomery County investments. Together, these are bringing 1,372 jobs to the area, nearly a third of the total announced jobs for the entire state.

And, Once Again, the Automotive Industry Dominates

As is typical for this state, the automotive industry accounted for a very large part of the investment activity. Nine of the twenty-one state investments were related to it.  Two large investments were by tire firms (Hankook and Bridgestone). Together they accounted for more than $1 billion of investment and for more than 750 jobs. Six more were part of the EV sector. Indeed, the automotive sector accounted for nearly ninety percent of all the foreign investment that came into the state last year.  

Foreign Investment and the Creation of a New, Major Industry

The most significant aspect of the 2022 investment, when combined with that of 2021, is that it is spearheading the revolution of a major economic sector: from internal combustion to electric vehicles. The state has long been a major player in the global auto industry, but we now are seeing Tennessee augment this position as EVs move to becoming the new technological core of automobile and truck production. If ever there was an argument for the ability of foreign investment to transform an economy, we are seeing it here in Tennessee.