Automotive parts manufacturer Plastic Omnium Auto Exteriors, LLC will construct a new facility in Chattanooga representing an investment of $65 million. The company intends to create 184 new jobs by the time it starts production in 2015 and expand its payroll to include 300 people as early as three years after opening.
According to Marc Cornet, president of the Americas of Plastic Omnium Auto Exteriors, the company will purchase about 27 acres at Enterprise South Industrial Park. “Chattanooga is an ideal location for Plastic Omnium to serve the automotive industry in the Southeast,” said Mr. Cornet. “We appreciate our partnership with both local and state officials, who are working closely with us to establish this new operation.”
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke applauded the project as an example of the continued focus on economic development. “It’s important that we work together with employers, like Plastic Omnium, to ensure the creation of good, middle-class jobs,” Mayor Berke said. “My focus is to support continued economic development in our city and to create more jobs for our community. That can happen when companies like Plastic Omnium grow and succeed in Chattanooga.”
County Mayor Jim Coppinger also expressed his strong support for the project. “Plastic Omnium is another success that validates our investment in Enterprise South,” Mayor Coppinger said. “We’ve proven we’re an outstanding manufacturing location with a well-prepared workforce. We’re striving to enhance our career readiness still further by focusing on disciplines like science, technology, engineering and math in Hamilton County Schools.”
Governor Bill Haslam said, “I want to welcome Plastic Omnium to Tennessee and thank the company for choosing Chattanooga for its latest North American operations. Companies can choose to do business anywhere in the world, and when they select Tennessee, it speaks volumes to our business friendly environment and our workforce. We are grateful for the 300 new jobs that will be created, supporting our goal to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
Tennessee Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said, “Tennessee ranks among the top 10 in the nation for job creation in the manufacturing sector and with more than 900 automotive manufacturers and suppliers located statewide, Plastic Omnium is sure to be an outstanding addition in Chattanooga. I applaud international companies like Plastic Omnium who recognize and take advantage of Tennessee’s superior central location and logistical strength, and I appreciate the company’s decision to locate in our great state.”
A tier one supplier for Volkswagen and other major auto manufacturers in the Southeast, Plastic Omnium hopes to further expand in Chattanooga in the future based on market demand. Manufacturing operations at the new facility will include painting and assembly of automobile exterior components such as bumpers and fenders.
“Plastic Omnium shows how Chattanooga is living up to its growing reputation as ‘The Center of the Automotive South,’” said Charles Wood, vice president of economic development at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. “We’re leveraging our proximity to automotive assemblers across the southeast along with our outstanding workforce and infrastructure to serve as a platform for automotive suppliers to build a broad base of customers from one central location.”
“We were very pleased to work with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and Plastic Omnium to make available the land that this new facility will occupy,” said Christian Koch, Volkswagen Chattanooga president and CEO. “We welcome the jobs for the community and another tier one supplier locating close to the factory, which we see as necessary to the continuing success of our operation. This is great news for Chattanooga and great news for Volkswagen, as well.”