A couple of new companies named Cumberland will be opening this year in Tennessee and Alabama.
Sekhar Reddy, president of custom molder Cumberland Molded Products LLC in Woodbury, Tenn., sees plenty of opportunities, especially in automotive. He is taking steps to open a blow molding and assembly operation in Woodbury by October. He also is heading a company that will open in August for injection molding and assembly in Auburn, Ala.
It's quite a bit of expansion for the company, which employs 45, but Reddy said both opportunities will be separate, complementary companies that will supply local customers.
Cumberland Blow Molding will lease an 8,500-square-foot facility from Cannon County, Tenn., to produce bottles and auto parts. Reddy said there is a need in middle Tennessee for a custom blow molder.
He pointed to Nissan and Saturn plants within 60 miles, as well as various automotive suppliers as possible customers. He also noted, ``There are quite a few consumer product companies within 15 miles that use and produce bottles in their operations.''
Lower freight costs will make the companies competitive, he said.
Cumberland Molded Products started in 1998 as a telecommunications supplier, but now about 70 percent of its business is automotive. Reddy said the business has grown more than 15 percent a year for the past four years. The company runs 16 injection molding machines, with clamping forces of 25-610 tons, in its three-building complex.
``We have close to 5 acres of land, so that we could build another 25,000- to 30,000-square-foot building, and we may be forced to do so next year,'' Reddy said.
In Alabama, Cumberland Plastics Systems LLC is constructing an 18,000-square-foot facility in Auburn. Renato Gross, a partner, will be general manager.
``The city has been great to work with, and they've pulled out all the stops to help us,'' Reddy said. Auburn is about 300 miles from Woodbury.
Reddy cited the rapid growth of the auto industry in Alabama as a big reason for the plant. The new company plans to offer engineering, program management, injection molding and assembly.
Auburn Mayor Bill Ham said in a news release that the project will bring the city about $5 million in capital investment and 35 new jobs. Reddy said the company will hire 12-15 initially, but employment could grow rapidly.