Tower Automotive to Invest $5.6 Million in Ohio Plant - aftermarketNews

Tower Automotive to Invest $5.6 Million in Ohio Plant

Tower Automotive Products Company, Inc. has proposed an expansion at a facility located in Bellevue, OH. The company owns two facilities in Bellevue, but one facility, which manufactures and e-coats truck frames for the Ford Motor Co. Lorain Ohio Assembly Plant, will be the site of expansion. This location maintains 15 full-time employees. The other Tower Automotive Bellevue facility manufactures suspensions and modules.

From Toledo Business Journal

TOLEDO, OH — Tower Automotive Products Company, Inc. has proposed an expansion at a facility located in Bellevue, OH. The company owns two facilities in Bellevue, but one facility, which manufactures and e-coats truck frames for the Ford Motor Company Lorain Ohio Assembly Plant, will be the site of expansion. This location maintains 15 full-time employees. The other Tower Automotive Bellevue facility manufactures suspensions and modules.

The project involves the relocation of a truck frame assembly line from Milwaukee, WI, to Bellevue. The assembly line will be disassembled, moved to Bellevue, and reinstalled. Changes in the layout of the assembly line are required to accommodate the new location and new equipment will be manufactured to satisfy this need. Additional investment will also be made to retrofit an existing, but not currently utilized, coating process.

Tower is a global designer and producer of vehicle structural components and assemblies used by major automotive original equipment manufacturers including BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai/Kia, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. Products include body structures and assemblies, lower vehicle frames and structures, chassis modules and systems and suspensions.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority has approved a 55 percent, seven-year tax credit to Tower Automotive for the creation of 74 new full- time jobs and the retention of 136 existing full-time jobs, resulting from the expansion. As a part of the tax credit agreement, the authority is requiring the company to maintain operations at the project site in Sandusky County for at least 14 years. The value of the tax credit would be $327,515 over the term. Other state assistance committed to this project includes a $200,000 Ohio Investment in Training Program grant. The City of Bellevue will provide local support for this project.

The Job Creation Tax Credit is a major factor in Tower’s decision to locate its project in the State of Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Development. Other options available to Tower include a frame manufacturing facility in the City of Plymouth, MI. This location has the necessary rail infrastructure and available manufacturing space Tower requires.

A second option for Tower is to construct a new facility in Minnesota. The location in Minnesota would allow for just-in-time production of frames and reduced transportation costs.

A third option is for Tower to transfer the assembly line to an existing manufacturing operation located in Monterrey, Mexico, where rail infrastructure and manufacturing space are available.

As a result of this project, Tower will create 74 new fulltime jobs within three years of the project’s initial operations. The new jobs will pay an average of $16.21 per hour, plus $12.04 per hour in benefits. Tower has committed to hiring at least 10 percent disadvantaged and/or minority persons, as defined by the Ohio Administrative Code.

Copyright 2006 Toledo Business Journal. All Rights Reserved.

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