Plastic Trim International Inc., a subsidiary of China-based auto parts maker Minth Group Ltd., is investing $16.1 million in the expansion of its Baldwin Township, Mich., manufacturing plant.
The company extrudes trim, molding and decorative auto parts for many global automakers, including General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.
Part of the investment includes a nearly 50,000-square-foot expansion of the current 110,000-square-foot facility, boosting the total building size to about 160,000 square feet.
Minth Plant Manager John Zanti said in an April 25 phone interview that approximately $10 million of the total investment will go toward a new paint line used for injection molded parts.
The company has experienced growth in painted plastic automotive exterior trim, Zanti said, and the equipment purchase will help further diversify its product line.
Additionally, Plastic Trim International has been approved for a nearly $1.6 million performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund board. The grant is contingent on the creation of 210 new jobs with a starting wage of $24, including benefits, during the next two to three years.
The company plans to hire industrial engineers, quality engineers, maintenance techs and direct labor workers, Zanti said.
"Right now, this area is right around 10 percent unemployment, so we're hoping that we can help improve that number," he added. "But yes, we're seeing some difficulties hiring people."
Plastic Trim International currently employs about 250 workers across its two Michigan locations in Baldwin Township and East Tawas.
Parent company Minth Group is publicly traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and reported 2017 sales of approximately $1.4 billion.