Updated — Automotive interior parts supplier Mitchell Plastics Ltd. is expanding its Huntsville, Ala., facility with an estimated 120,000-square-foot addition.
The expanded facility, which will be just over 200,000 square feet once finished, will allow operations to grow with 12 new injection molding machines, a paint line, a larger assembly area, additional shipping bays and more office space, the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce announced Sept. 17.
The new injection molding machines will be hydraulic and around the 400-ton range, according to Peter Gibb, vice president of sales and marketing at Mitchell Plastics. The company's existing presses range from 80-1,500 tons.
The project marks an investment of more than $10 million, which will be split between the facility upgrades and equipment purchases, Gibb said. Approximately 80 combined hourly and salaried staff will be hired to support manufacturing operations, as needed.
Construction on the facility is expected to begin in October and will be completed sometime in spring 2019.
“The expansion is geared toward meeting production volumes for several new regional product launches,” he said in a Sept. 24 email. “Mitchell Plastics has grown significantly over the years, mainly as a Tier 1 automotive supplier.”
Gibb said the Huntsville site is a key part of its growth strategy.
Mitchell Plastics, based in Kitchener, Ontario, molds interior decorative and functional parts, including floor consoles, center finish panel assemblies, air registers, glovebox assemblies and overhead consoles, among other parts.
The company has been operating in Huntsville since 2005 and supplies to many of the big OEMs, including Toyota Motor Corp., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and General Motors Co., among others.
The auto parts manufacturer, which operates eight manufacturing facilities in North America and employs more than 2,600 globally in Michigan, Germany, Japan and China, has announced several expansion plans in recent years.
In July, the company opened a plant in Saltillo, Mexico, according to a news release.
In 2016, Mitchell Plastics announced it was constructing a 65,000-square-foot facility next to its current headquarters in Kitchener to house a technical center and support additional growth. That same year, the company said it was investing $20.5 million to build a 200,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Sterling Heights, Mich. The facility opened in September 2017.
In 2015, the company added a sales and engineering office in Munich to support its German OEM customers. A year earlier, in 2014, Mitchell Plastics set up manufacturing operations in Querétaro, Mexico.