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How will the new Scout Motors plant affect the state?

The Governor and Secretary of Commerce say the Blythewood community isn't the only one that will see impacts from the plant.

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. — The electric vehicle company called Scout Motors is coming to the Midlands, with a plant expected to start operations in Blythewood by 2026. 

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster says the Blythewood community isn't the only one that will see impacts from the plant. 

“When BMW came here, there were about five or 600 small businesses that sprang up,” McMaster said.

"We didn't have any automobile-related businesses, I think Michelin was doing tires at that point but that was about as close as we got to the automobile industry,” said Harry Lightsey State Secretary of Commerce. 

Lightsey says since then, the automobile industry has become the largest sector of the state's manufacturing economy. 

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“We expect that Scout Motors will have a similar impact,” Lightsey said.

McMaster says the plant will attract not only suppliers, but business in general. And subsequently, more jobs for South Carolinians. 

“You have to remember… not only are there suppliers of all kinds of parts and things that will be needed, but also all the auxiliary services,” McMaster said. “The people working there, they gonna eat lunch somewhere. They gonna take the dry cleaning somewhere. They gonna have to get gas in the car unless they've happened to get one of these electric vehicles."

RELATED: Blythewood residents question proposed land annexation near Scout Motors site

The Secretary of Commerce says they haven't seen this statewide impact yet. But, Director Ruble of Richland County Economic Development Office says he's seeing it start in Richland County already. 

"When I first took this job, about eight years ago, I started calling on developers, trying to see if I could get some more activity in the Columbia area,” Ruble said. “I went to Atlanta and Charlotte… and what I heard was, ‘We are only interested in Greenville and Charleston. Thanks but no thanks.’ Over the last few months, I've gotten a call literally everyday from developers looking to do work in the area." 

He says these include multi-family developers and industrial developers. 

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