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Plastic Omnium expanding in Tennessee, Kansas

By: Kerri Jansen

May 27, 2014

The automotive exteriors unit of molder Plastic Omnium SA plans to build a new $65 million facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., while its Inergy fuel systems plant will invest more than $5 million in Fairfax, Kan., the company has announced.

Plastic Omnium, based in Levallois, France, will purchase about 27 acres at the Chattanooga Enterprise South industrial park, a news release indicates. The unit supplies plastic exterior parts such as bumpers and fenders for automakers including Volkswagen, which also operates a manufacturing plant at the park.

The company said it will also invest in fuel systems near its customer General Motors Co. in Kansas. Together, the two plants will add up to more than $70 million in production costs abut are estimated to generate $140 million in revenue.

Production in Chattanooga is expected to begin in 2015 and will include painting and assembly of exterior components, the release indicates. The facility will employ 184 initially, with more jobs to be added over the next three years.

When the work on the two plants is completed, North America will account for 27 percent of its total global sales.

In addition, the operations are part of an overall 1.2 billion euro ($1.6 billion) global investment project for Plastic Omnium between 2013 and 2016.