Auto supplier Lacks Enterprises Inc. is kicking off a $54 million expansion this summer with the construction of the first of three new facilities. Two more sites are set for expansion during the next five years.
The work is needed to keep up with a growing demand for Lacks products that will take the Michigan company to more than $500 million in sales from its current level of $310 million and add 424 jobs to its current base of more than 1,500, said executive director Roger Andrzejewski.
The bulk of the expansion will take place in Kentwood, Mich., a suburb of Lacks' corporate base of Grand Rapids, Mich.
The first new construction will be a 106-employee plating plant to add metallic coatings to injection molded decorative wheel inserts. The factory is to begin production by mid-2005.
``That business has grown significantly,'' Andrzejewski said in a July 13 telephone interview. ``It's a highly desirable product.''
Injection molding facilities will expand throughout the growth spurt as well, to keep pace with expected sales. Launching the plating factory is expected to call for another 76 jobs throughout Lacks in 2005, he said.
The new plant is slated for an additional 70,000-80,000 square feet, specifically for molding in 2007. Another 30,000-square-foot expansion is set for another molding site the same year, while Lacks has mapped out construction of a 30,000-square-foot wheel assembly plant in 2006 and a 160,000-square-foot distribution center in 2007.
The state of Michigan has approved a $2.5 million single business tax credit to back Lack's construction boom, while Kentwood will contribute a tax abatement worth an estimated $4.3 million.
In addition to its Chromtec-brand wheel-plating system, Lacks molds and paints interior and exterior automotive trim, while its Plastic-Plate group makes decorative components for the consumer electronics industry.