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REGIONSAMERICAS


THE E-COMMERCE GIANT ANNOUNCED RECORD NUMBERS OF DOMESTIC PROJECTS TO MEET COVID DEMAND


CovidfuelsUS retailgrowth


The pandemic-induced shift from brick-and-mortar to online stores has accelerated the expansion of Amazon’s logistics footprints in the US to meet a fast-growing domestic demand. In the first three quarters of


2020, the e-commerce giant announced a record 204 US interstate logistics, distribution and transportation projects, according to investment monitor fDi Markets. Amazon’s record number of US


interstate investments — domestic projects made by companies headquartered in a different state to the final investment destination — is almost four times as many the number announced during the whole of 2019. These investments involved


capital expenditure of $21.4bn (including estimates), an increase of 365% from 2019, while the estimated number of jobs created jumped more than three fold. Arizona was the US state that


benefited most from Amazon’s logistics expansion, garnering 16 projects in the first nine months of this year, according to fDi Markets. Texas and NewJersey each attracted 15 projects in the same period, while NewYork state and Illinois both gained 14. Notable projects include a May


2020 pledge to create 8800 logistics- related jobs in Texas, 6000 jobs in Arizona, and 3000 jobs apiece in Illinois, Maryland and Connecticut. Amazon hired 36,400 people in the three months to June 30, bringing its overall US headcount to 876,000, an increase of 34% compared to a year earlier. A recent company release stated


that it had more than 600,000 full- and part-time employees in the US, across more than 40 states and 250 different counties. The e-commerce giant has invested more than $350bn in the US since 2010. While the inward-looking


attitude of US companies is having a 56


The Covid-19 pandemic has accellerated Amazon’s logistics expansion as it tries to keep pace with demand


dampening effect on global investment, other nonstore retailers are continuing to expand their logistics networks. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Argentina’s MercadoLibre and US-based Walmart have all announced projects Amazon has also enhanced its


logistics operations globally, albeit on a smaller scale to its interstate investments. In western Europe, the company announced 46 projects from January to September, in comparison to 31 during 2019. The company also added to its infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region. The intensity of Amazon’s


interstate investments look set to continue, solidifying further the digital shift. Yet continued investments showthat, despite the shrinking of the physical retail space, physical infrastructure will still act as an important support mechanism and thrive from the online marketplace.■ JOSHUACRAWFORD


Ford’s $580m for Argentina


The US-based Ford Motor Company has announced plans to invest $580m in its existing General Pacheco plant to manu- facture the next generation of its Ranger model, the Argentine government announced on December 1. The investment into the plant to


the north of Buenos Aires includes plans for local development of auto parts, with production expected to start in 2023. The plant will serve the Latin American market. During a meeting with Martín


Galdeano, chief executive of Ford Argentina, the country’s president Alberto Fernández said the govern- ment was “committed to the return of automotives as the flagship of [Argentina’s] national industry”, stressing it will create more jobs. Mr Fernández told the Financial


Times in July 2020 that he “believed in the capitalism of [Henry] Ford”.■ SETHO’FARRELL


Huaweiplugs intoBrazil


Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei plans to invest 40m reais ($7.7m) into research and development in Brazil by the end of this year, Bruno Zitnick, head of government and public affairs at Huawei Brazil said at the recent Inovatic online event. Mr Zitnick outlined that Huawei


was involved in more than 20 projects in Brazil, across mining, agricultural and the environment. Huawei has already invested 30m reais, according to local media outlet Telesintese. fDi Markets has tracked more


greenfield investment announce- ments by Huawei in Brazil than any other Latin American country. This included an August 2019 announce- ment to invest $800m in a new production facility in Sao Paulo. Eduardo Bolsonaro, federal


deputy and son of president Jair Bolsonaro, recently rattled the Chinese embassy by tweeting that Huawei technology was akin to “Chinese espionage” before deleting the post.■ SETHO’FARRELL


www.fDiIntelligence.com December 2020/January 2021


$7.7M


HUAWEI’SINVESTMENT INBRAZILBYTHEEND OF2020


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