Franklin auto supplier to add 120 new jobs

The new jobs, announced Monday, add to Faurecia’s existing 329 jobs in Franklin, according to Dayton Development Coalition. Job openings include engineering positions, maintenance and production technicians, and supervisory roles, also according to the Coalition, a private economic development agency.

French-based Faurecia says it’s the world’s seventh largest auto supplier of automotive seating, emissions control technologies, interior systems and vehicle exterior components. Its Franklin manufacturing plant at 2301 Commerce Center Drive, part of the Emissions Control Technologies division, produces parts for exhaust systems.

“Our business is growing and we need increased skilled employees to meet the demand for customers,” said Tony Sapienza, spokesman for Faurecia. Customers include the big three automakers Chrysler, Ford and General Motors.

Investment in machinery and equipment will add new production lines in Franklin, according to state records of the project, which was approved for tax credits Monday by Ohio Tax Credit Authority.

Faurecia leaders attribute growth to increasing demand in the automotive industry for weight reduction, pollutant emissions control and energy recovery.

“Faurecia has proudly operated in the City of Franklin … for 20 years,” said Mark Stidham, president of Faurecia Emissions Control, in a provided statement. “Our growth here is a proof point to the skill and commitment of the workforce in the area and we look forward to using that advantage to build on our success for many years to come.”

Hiring will take place over the next three years and add $4.5 million in new payroll to Franklin’s tax base, according to Ohio Development Services Agency. The project was approved for a 55 percent, eight-year tax credit that can be claimed on new jobs created. If all 120 jobs are added, the credit is valued at $50,000 over the life of the tax break, according to the state development department.

The company did not disclose the cost of investment or pay information for jobs.

Once the new positions are filled, it will bring Faurecia’s total employment in the area to about 600 workers, including another Faurecia Emissions operation in Troy, Sapienza said.

“They actually have a lot of other facilities around the country that could have gotten this, but we were able to get that expansion here,” said Lucious Plant, project manager for Dayton Development Coalition. “It makes the region a place where other manufacturers want to be because there’s a strong community.”

A slew of auto suppliers have announced local expansions so far in 2014 as auto sales rebound. The biggest announcements include plans by Fuyao North America Inc. to invest $200 million and open an auto glass factory at the former General Motors assembly plant in Moraine. Up to 800 workers will be hired.

Also in Warren County, UGN Inc. is building in Monroe a $50 million, 232,000-square-foot manufacturing facility to produce vehicle carpeting, underfloor modules and other interior automotive parts. More than 150 new jobs will be created. Full production is expected to start midway through 2015.

ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America Inc. in July revealed plans for its third expansion since 2011, and the largest one yet. The $26 million project includes a building expansion and investment in new, more advanced equipment. Expectations are to create more than 200 new jobs at the Hamilton maker of shock absorbers by 2017.

Auto industry employment — including assembly and supplier operations — grew 32 percent between 2011 and 2013 in Ohio, said Kristi Tanner, managing director of the automotive industry for the private JobsOhio, the group in charge of statewide business recruiting and retention efforts. She said Ohio is winning a greater share of the sector’s investment than average industry employment growth in surrounding states and the United States as a whole.

“Those assembly facilities are asking their suppliers to be more partners with them,” Tanner said. Even those (original equipment manufacturers) that are outside of Ohio are increasing their spend in Ohio and the region” with suppliers.

“We are well positioned to, what I would say, take more than our fair share of new capital that’s being invested in the U.S.,” she said.

National auto sales climbed four consecutive years to 15.6 million vehicles sold in 2013, according to Autodata Corp. That was the most since 16.1 million passenger cars and light trucks sold in 2007. Analysts with consumer auto publication Kelley Blue Book predict U.S. auto sales this year will reach 16.3 million cars and light trucks sold.

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