Flush with new business from Johnson Controls Inc., Plastech Engineered Products Inc. wants to build an $11 million plant in Caro, Mich.
Plastech, a Dearborn, Mich.-based injection molder, already employs 100 at a plant in Caro, a rural community about 100 miles north of Detroit. The proposed, 125,000-square-foot site on 20 acres would employ about 150.
The company asked Caro Village Council to expand its Renaissance Zone to include the parcel, which would offer the business more than $5 million in tax relief during 12 years, said David Murphy, village manager. Both the village and Tuscola County approved the request, Murphy said in an April 25 telephone interview. The state is to act on it early in May.
If Plastech wins approval, it will buy the land and build the facility.
Plastech officials did not return calls requesting comment, but said late last year they anticipated extensive growth related to an agreement with JCI to oversee production of outsourced interior trim parts, including those made by other molders. The deal could double Plastech's annual sales, improve production efficiency and diversify its customer base, Chief Operating Officer Jim Brown said in a news release.
Venture capital company American Capital Strategies Ltd. of Bethesda, Md., invested $30 million in Plastech in November to help finance future growth.
``Plastech is a rising star within a heavily fragmented industry, benefiting from a pervasive cost-cutting culture aimed at productivity improvements,'' said Roland Cline, American Capital senior vice president and managing director.
In 1997, Plastech had estimated sales of $300 million and seven plants. It now has 14 plants and annual sales of about $560 million.
Its agreement with JCI, which has automotive offices in Plymouth, Mich., ensures Plastech's growth by making it one of a reduced number of suppliers delivering to Tier 1 specialists. Under the ownership of Chief Executive Officer Julie Nguyen Brown, a Vietnamese immigrant, the company also is among the largest minority-owned automotive suppliers in North America.