Auto parts molder Ventra Ionia Main LLC plans to invest $4.85 million to buy a 48,900-square-foot facility in Ionia, Mich.
The project is expected to create 109 jobs.
Ventra Ionia, a subsidiary of auto parts giant Flex-N-Gate Corp., specializes in front and rear bumpers, trailer hitches and chrome-plated plastics. The expansion will add to that plastics expertise in Ionia by stamping steel bumpers for the Ford Ranger
The Ionia operations currently cover 724,000 square feet and employs about 1,300, said Mellissa Kendall, director of energy at Flex-N-Gate, in a May 31 email to Plastics News.
Ventra Ionia will also receive a $600,000 performance-based grant from the MEDC's Michigan Business Development Program, contingent on job creation, base level of employment and investment. MEDC said Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Illinois and Indiana.
“We anticipate to begin hiring in October 2018,” Kendall said.
MEDC spokeswoman Kathleen Achtenberg said in a May 31 email there are two milestones that must be met by Sept. 30, 2020: The first disbursement of $137,600 will be made for the creation of 25 jobs, and the second disbursement of $462,400 will be made for the creation of 84 jobs.
“Today's news wouldn't be possible without the assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the city of Ionia,” Bill Beistline, Flex-N-Gate's vice president of procurement, said in a statement. “Flex-N-Gate's growth in Michigan proves that the automotive industry is still robust. We are proud of our growth, and are poised to help our customers meet growing demand.”
In 2014, Ventra Ionia received a $500,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Business Development Program for a project in Ionia that included a capital investment of $8.5 million and the creation of 144 new jobs.
Parent company Flex-N-Gate, a supplier of bumpers, exterior trim, lighting, chassis assemblies and other automotive products, is headquartered in Urbana, Ill., and employs more than 26,000 people across 62 facilities worldwide.