Topre investing $54 million to expand Springfield plant, create more jobs

An auto parts maker is expanding its Springfield location and is expected to create 71 new jobs in the city.

Topre America Corp. will invest $54 million to add 78,000 square feet to its existing stamping and assembly facility in the Champion City Business Park.

The facility will be 393,000 square feet once the latest expansion is completed. The project is slated to be completed in May and the company will start hiring in the summer, Senior Vice President of Topre America Brad Pepper said.

“As hoped, our plans to expand to Springfield have resulted in increased production requests from our customers – Honda, Toyota and Nissan,” Pepper said in a news release.“The Springfield community continues to support our growth and has proven to be an ideal location for our company. It’s simply a community that wants our investment and works with our leadership to make it happen.”

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The latest expansion for Topre, brings the company’s total investment in Springfield to $182 million and a commitment of creating a total of 360 jobs since announcing plans to come to the area almost three years ago.

Topre made its first move in Springfield in December 2016, when the Japanese auto parts firm announced plans to invest $10 million in a new 20,000-square-foot stamping facility. That investment was soon increased to $55 million and company officials said its Springfield site would be 177,000 square feet and create 85 jobs.

The company announced it would add another 138,000 square feet, create 204 more jobs and invest $73 million, in March of 2018.

Pepper said on Wednesday that the latest expansion is the result of a new contract with Honda awarded in June. He said that has prompted a need for more workers and space at Topre’s Springfield facility.

Pepper said they are still in discussions with Honda regarding production and did not give further details about the contract, which includes producing new models for Honda. He said Topre is expanding its facilities in Tennessee and Alabama as well.

“Topre’s latest investment is another example of how JobsOhio and its partners are helping to build on the well established investment relationship that benefits both Ohio and Japan,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in a news release Wednesday. “This expansion demonstrates the confidence Topre has in its Springfield operations, where more than 70 jobs will be created to bolster Topre’s world-class auto parts manufacturing.”

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The available positions will be in assembly, stamping and light manufacturing, with an average wage of $19.50 per hour. Topre plans on working with the Chamber of Greater Springfield and OhioMeansJobs-Clark County in attracting workers and filling those jobs.

“I think their growth continues to show that this area is a great place to do business. They had choices in where they could put this and Clark County continues to be a great location,” said Horton Hobbs, vice president of economic development for the chamber.

The Springfield News-Sun has provided extensive coverage of Topre since it first announced plans in 2016 to open a manufacturing plant in Springfield, including stories digging into the history of the business park it’s taken over and why the business selected Clark County.

By the numbers:

71: Jobs to be created by Topre

$19.50: Average hourly wage for new jobs

$182 million: Total investment in Springfield by Topre

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