Mohawk Industries Inc. is investing $100 million at its Dalton, Ga., luxury vinyl tile plant, where it will increase U.S. manufacturing capacity and create about 200 jobs.
The facility is getting new equipment and infrastructure to bolster production of flexible and rigid LVT for residential and commercial uses. It should be running at full capacity by the end of the year, according to a news release.
LVT mimics the look of natural hardwood, stone and mosaic tile. The flooring category, which has been taking market share from laminate, sheet and ceramic tile, is about a $1 billion market in the United States.
With total corporate net sales of $8.1 billion in 2015 — a company record — Mohawk says it is the world's largest flooring company. For its LVT line, Mohawk's website shows three replicas of stone, 17 of tile and 38 of wood.
“This major investment to expand our U.S. LVT production will meet increased demand for our unique products and enhance Mohawk's position as the global leader in LVT, the world's fastest growing flooring category,” Ben Carson, president of Mohawk Industries' Flooring North America segment, said in the release issued by the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
Mohawk has been repositioning itself from American carpet manufacturer to global flooring market leader, with particularly aggressive growth strategies since 2013. Last year, Mohawk acquired IVC Group, which was started in Belgium in 1997 and became the fastest growing LVT supplier in Europe, for $1.2 billion.
IVC had been preparing to grow in Dalton going back to 2010, according to Mike Babb, chairman of the Whitfield County Commission. He noted in the news release that this is the third major investment at the site and it completes the build-out of the property that has been in works for six years.
During the same period, Mohawk, which is based in Calhoun, Ga., had been expanding overseas in Belgium. The two companies had conversations over the years about potential synergies in terms of sales, manufacturing expertise, transportation and administration. When the acquisition was announced in January 2015, Mohawk officials said the greatest opportunity was in LVT.
IVC had built the first high-speed LVT line in the world and started construction of the plant in Dalton to make luxury vinyl plank and tile. Now Mohawk is starting up the plant, which the company said after the IVC acquisition has an annual capacity valued at $200 million. The facility is described as having “the world's largest, most efficient LVT production lines” in the release.
“Combined with our industry-leading national distribution system, this expansion will provide our customers with the broadest product offering and the highest level of service in the LVT category,” Carson said.
Mohawk currently employs 10,250 in Georgia and more than 34,000 people worldwide.
In 2015, Mohawk's net sales of $8.1 billion were up 3 percent over the prior year and net profit came to $756 million, excluding restructuring, acquisition and other charges.
Mohawk manufactures and distributes carpet, rugs, ceramic tile, laminate wood, stone and vinyl flooring under brand names such as Daltile, IVC, Karastan, Mohawk, Pergo and Quick-Step. Flooring operations are located in Australia, Brazil, India, Malaysia, New Zealand and Russia in addition to North America and Europe.