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Hart County Economic Development
View of new TI Automotive plant from the Welcome Station on I-85
TI AUTOMOTIVE BREAKS GROUND FOR NEW PLANT IN GEORGIA
HART COUNTY, Georgia, July 1, 2004—TI Automotive will invest $30 million to build a new manufacturing facility here to produce automotive fuel-tank systems.
The plant initially will manufacture blow-molded plastic fuel tanks and filler pipes for vehicles built in nearby southern states by BMW and an Asia-based automaker.
Groundbreaking ceremonies for the 145,000-square-foot plant in the Gateway High Tech Industrial Park took place today. TI Automotive executives joined municipal, county, and state officials for the program. The industrial park is located off the Interstate 85 at Exit 177 in northeast Georgia.
Site preparation, including grading and installation of water and sewer lines, began last month at the 25-acre plot. Construction is scheduled to begin within the next several weeks. The TI Automotive plant initially will employ 100 people and produce 350,000 automotive fuel-tank systems annually.
Hiring will begin in March 2005 with the beginning of training and prototype assembly. A majority of the new employees will be hired locally. Training for many of the facility’s high-tech operators will be provided by the state’s Quick Start program through North Georgia Technical College.
Brian Lindsay, TI Automotive managing commercial director for Global Fuel Systems, said the company expects to reach full production of fuel-system components for the two automakers in 2006.
The TI Automotive site in the regional Gateway High Tech Industrial Park was developed through the Joint Development Authority of Hart, Franklin, and Stephens counties in part through a State of Georgia Edge Grant of $650,000 funded through the One Georgia agency.
Officials on hand for the groundbreaking ceremonies included Craig Lesser, new commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Mike Beatty, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and Nancy Cobb, executive director of the OneGeorgia Authority. They were joined by Mark Lytle and Kevin Langston of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Buddy Glazner of Georgia Power, and Jack Edmunds, chairman of the Joint Development Authority of Hart, Franklin, and Stephens counties.
Other local officials in attendance included State Representatives Jeanette Jamieson, and Alan Powell; Dan Reyen, chairman of the Hart County Board; Sammy Elrod, chairman of the Franklin County Board; Hartwell Mayor Matt Beasley; Lavonia Mayor Ralph Owens, and Hart County Administrator John Caime.
“We’ve been most heartened by the warm reception and the strong spirit of cooperation we’ve had in making our site selection,” noted Lindsay. “And we welcome the opportunity to play our part in the growth of Hart, Franklin, and Stephens counties.”
Georgia Governor, Sonny Perdue, said, “ TI Automotive’s continued investment in Georgia means more jobs for our citizens and further demonstrates that our state is a great place to do business. I am pleased to see that another one of our existing customers is expanding their business operations in Georgia.”
The new TI Automotive facility was designed and engineered by O’Neal Constructors of Atlanta. The firm also serves as the facility’s general contractor.
“We are using a fair amount of glass to bring a significant amount of natural light into the manufacturing area,” said Paul Darden, O’Neal Constructors vice president. “The building will be fully air-conditioned and is designed to provide for the flexible use of the space with a minimum number of interior partitions.”
TI Automotive will lease the Gateway Park site from the tri-county Joint Development Authority. Incentives provided through the State of Georgia include state job tax credits totaling $3,000 per employee per year during the facility’s first five years of operation. TI Automotive can effectively spread out the state income tax credits over a 10-year period.
“This all-new facility will have two blow-molding press lines with an annual capacity to produce one million fuel tanks,” said Manouchehr Kambaksh, TI Automotive vice president of Global Advanced Engineering, who took part in the groundbreaking ceremony. “The plant will use an innovative blow-molded filler-pipe process, a first for a North American automotive supplier.”
The Hart County plant will be the first TI Automotive facility to incorporate the assembly of fuel tank components, filler pipes, and tanks under on roof.
TI Automotive is the world’s leading supplier of fluid storage, transfer, and delivery systems including brake, fuel, and air conditioning applications. Based in Warren, Michigan, the company employs over 20,000 people at more than 130 facilities in 29 countries on six continents. The company’s sales in 2003 totaled nearly $2.5 billion. Further information about TI Automotive is Available on the Company’s website at www.tiautomotive.com
Hart County Economic Development
Georgia Department of Economic Development