SmileDirectClub scraps $37M plans for manufacturing site in Texas

SmileDirectClub has pulled the plug on a $37 million manufacturing plant in Kyle, Texas, that was expected to employ 850 people, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

The teeth-straightening company said it was impractical for employees based at its Nashville, Tenn., headquarters to oversee the plant development amid travel restrictions and health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In October 2019, SmileDirectClub executives said they had an "aggressive timeline" for the new factory, with the facility expected to be operational by February 2020.

Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell said Sept. 8 that he became concerned the project wouldn't be completed shortly after it was announced.

"I never saw them doing much work to set it up," Mr. Mitchell said, according to the Statesman. "I had concerns, and it seems those concerns were well founded."

A SmileDirectClub spokesperson said delays in rolling out some manufacturing automation slowed the initial time table, but that the pandemic prompted the project cancellation.

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