JCB has begun a $500m (€462m) investment on a new factory in the US. Dubbed to be the company’s biggest investment in its history, the factory, due to be finished in 2026, is expected to become JCB’s second largest.

A ceremony to mark the breaking of ground at the site in San Antonio, Texas took place on Tuesday (4 June) with Alice Bamford and her father, company chairman Anthony Bamford picking up a shovel for the event.

The 720,000 sq ft (67,000m²) factory is positioned on a 400-acre site for the manufacture of telehandlers and aerial access equipment. It will create 1,500 new jobs over five years.

The factory will also have the capacity to expand into the manufacture of other products in the future.

“Construction equipment manufacturers sell more than 300,000 machines every year in North America, making it the single largest market in the world. JCB has been growing its share of this important market steadily over the past few years and the time is now right to invest in our manufacturing capacity in North America, where we already have one factory.

Family company

"JCB really has come a considerable way since we sold our first machine here 60 years ago and it gives me immense pleasure to see how our business has grown in North America. Today really is a milestone day in the history of our family company,” said Anthony Bamford.

JCB sold its first machine in North America in 1964 and opened its first manufacturing plant there in 2001 in Savannah, Georgia, which employs 1,000 people.

The new facility will manufacture machines for customers specifically in the US. JCB employs 19,000 people and has 22 factories around the world, including 11 in the UK, seven in India, and others in Brazil and China. The company will mark its 80th anniversary in 2025.