Canadian auto supplier ABC Group Inc. is continuing its growth with a $19 million factory set for London, Ky., and plans for a new facility in Eastern Europe.
Toronto-based ABC has been ramping up for new production linked to sales of its in-house-developed auto components.
The 140,000-square-foot facility in London, with an expected work force of 165, will add to ABC's capabilities, Chief Executive Officer Mike Schmidt said in a news release.
``ABC Group has sought to expand our regional operations in the South for some time,'' Schmidt said.
The bulk of ABC's manufacturing is in Canada, with 23 facilities. The Kentucky operation will join six others in the United States, which are in Michigan, Indiana and Tennessee.
The firm developed a blow molded running board that is getting increased attention and already is slated to go onto General Motors Corp.'s full-size sport utility vehicles starting in 2005, and on the 2005 Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s Pathfinder SUV.
An in-house-developed cargo-management system, produced using both blow and injection molding, is going onto a new GM small SUV, the Equinox, beginning this year.
ABC produces interior, exterior and functional products using blow and injection molding. It also has its own wholly owned compounding unit and a machinery division to produce equipment for its proprietary systems.
In addition to the work in North America, ABC Group signed an agreement in March to build a facility in Verazdin, Croatia, to supply the growing number of European automakers opening plants in the east. ABC also lists China, India, South Korea and Poland as ``future expansion'' targets.
Privately owned ABC had $550 million in sales in 2003, up about $100 million from a year earlier.