The US$1bn (£825m) factory will be the group’s seventh and is intended to shorten the supply chain and support long-term growth in the Americas.
The factory will be designed to operate as a carbon-neutral facility. All of its day-to-day energy needs will be matched by renewable energy generated by the on-site solar park. The site will also be designed to minimise energy consumption and use of non-renewable resources. Once completed, the 160,000m2 facility will employ more than 1,760 people.
Lego Group CEO Niels Christiansen said: “This is an exciting step for the Lego Group. More and more families are falling in love with Lego building and we are looking forward to making Lego bricks in the US, one of our largest markets. The location in Virginia allows us to build a solar park which supports our sustainability ambitions and provides easy links to country-wide transportation networks. We are also looking forward to creating fantastic employment opportunities for the people of Virginia.”
Construction will begin this autumn, with production projected to start in the second half of 2025. A temporary packaging site will open in an existing building nearby in early 2024 and create up to 500 jobs.
The Virginia factory will be the Lego Group’s seventh factory globally and the second in the Americas (see image below). The company’s manufacturing site in Monterrey, Mexico primarily supplies the US market and will be expanded and upgraded to meet growing demand for Lego products.
Lego Group chief operations officer Carsten Rasmussen said: “Our factories are located close to our biggest markets which shortens the distance our products have to travel. This allows us to rapidly respond to changing consumer demand and helps manage our carbon footprint. Our new factory in the US and expanded capacity at our existing site in Mexico means we will be able to best support long-term growth in the Americas. We are fortunate to find a location where we can begin construction quickly and create temporary capacity in under two years.”
The new factory in Virginia will mould, process and pack Lego products and ensure they meet the company’s safety and quality requirements. Each Lego brick is moulded to the accuracy of a hair’s width (0.005mm) to ensure the perfect ‘clutch power’ that holds Lego creations together.
“Our bricks are made to last for generations, so we need skilled employees trained to work with precision moulding technology,” said Rasmussen. “We look forward to working with the Virginia Talent Accelerator programme to help build a great team who are motivated by our mission to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.”
Lego factories in Europe and China are also being expanded, and in December 2021, the Group announced plans to build a factory in Vietnam to support further growth in Asia.
The Lego Group currently employs approximately 2,600 people in the US where it has been operating since the 1960s. Its US head office is in Enfield, Connecticut, and operates 100 Lego branded stores across the country.