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4/13/2017 12:11:00 PM
China auto-parts maker to build $80 million plant in Greenfield, hire 441

Indianapolis Business Journal

A China-based auto-parts manufacturer has chosen Greenfield as the site of its first U.S. production facility—an $80 million plant that is expected to employ 441 workers by the end of 2021.

BeijingWest Industries Co. Ltd., which designs and manufactures brake and suspension systems, plans to break ground on the 276,514-square-foot facility in Greenfield's Progress Park this summer and launch production in August 2019, state officials announced Wednesday.

“BWI had options when deciding where to locate its first U.S. facility, and I’m thrilled they chose the Hoosier state,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a written statement.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is expected to offer BWI North America Inc up to $4.55 million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the job-creation plans. The company be required to meet hiring goals to claim the incentives, which are pending approval from the IEDC board of directors.

The city of Greenfield is considering additional incentives at the request of the Hancock County Economic Development Council.

BWI provides parts to more than 31 customers worldwide, including Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Porsche. It is known for producing the MagneRide suspension system.

The company is a joint venture of Shougang Corp. and Beijing Fangshan State-Owned Asset Management, and was formed in 2009 when the company bought the brake and suspension business of Delphi Automotive, which was once a part of General Motors.

Since 2009, BWI has added 25 auto manufacturers to its customer base.

The company has nearly 5,000 employees at 17 facilities around the world, including China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Poland, United Kingdom and the U.S. It operates seven manufacturing plants outside of North America and seven technical centers globally, including one in Dayton, Ohio.

“BWI is excited to be working with the state of Indiana and Hancock County on this extremely important project," said John Beres III, assistant president and global director of BWI, in written comments. "We are appreciative of the support given to us at the state and local level. This plant will expand our North American footprint to support our U.S. customer base.”

The company said it plans to begin hiring machine operators and maintenance and lab technicians in February 2018. The positions are expected to pay average annual salaries higher than the state average wage of about $44,000.

BWI also plans to work with Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana to help develop workforce training for the plant.

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