Auto parts maker bringing 350 jobs to Mills River – Citizen Times

HENDERSONVILLE – A manufacturing plant to open in northern Henderson County in mid-2017 will employ 350 people making lightweight components for cars and other vehicles, Gov. Pat McCrory and local and corporate officials announced here Monday.
The plant in Mills River will be owned by GF Linamar, a joint venture between Swiss firm Georg Fisher AG and Canadian company Linamar Corp., which also employs 200 people at a manufacturing plant in Skyland.
The average annual wage at the plant is projected to be $47,738. The project is a $217 million investment for GF Linamar
The plant will be an aluminum die casting operation making powertrain, drivetrain and structural components designed to make vehicles lighter, thus decreasing their fuel usage.
“These are first-class companies that are coming together for investments right here in Western North Carolina,” McCrory said at the announcement before about 80 people in the former Henderson County courthouse. “It’s going to help a lot of families. It’s going to help a lot of people.”
He said the plant will strengthen North Carolina’s already considerable roster of manufacturers.
“These are people that build things and make things and innovate things,” McCrory said.
GF Linamar will get as much at $4.7 million in cash incentives from the state over four years, depending on the pace of job creation, McCrory said. In addition, the Golden Leaf Foundation, which administers proceeds from the state’s settlement with cigarette makers, will give Blue Ridge Community College $500,000 to pay for training for workers for the new plant.
The plan will be located off N.C. 280 southwest of Asheville Regional Airport. Linda Hasenfratz, Linamar Corp.’s CEO, said GF Linamar considered putting the new plant at the existing Linamar facility off Hendersonville Road but decided it was too small. The building there once housed Volvo Construction Equipment.
Linamar, based in Guelph, Ontario, has traditionally located its plants in clusters, she said, which increases their purchasing power and creates economies of scale. It primarily supplies metal parts to the automotive industry.
Based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, Georg Fisher makes automotive parts, piping for gases and liquids and manufacturing equipment.
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