Motus Integrated Technologies LLC, a global automotive interiors supplier, is tapping into Alabama's automotive market with a new manufacturing facility in the state.
The company is investing more than $15 million to build an approximately 96,000-square-foot facility in Gadsden, about two hours northeast of a production facility in Cottondale where it operates some equipment. The project is expected to create 90 new jobs over the next few years, with a starting wage of more than $20 per hour.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the plant is scheduled for July 30, with construction starting shortly after in August.
Motus makes automotive headliners, interior door and console armrests, instrument panel trim, and other soft and decorative trim components for automakers and other suppliers.
The Gadsden facility, which is slated for completion in mid-2020, will extend those manufacturing processes by housing additional operations for headliner forming, injection molding and assembly. Once completed, it will have 11 injection molding machines, with clamping forces ranging from 200-1,000 tons.
"Motus' plans for the new Alabama facility build upon powerful growth trends in the state's auto industry, with such a heavy concentration of automotive manufacturing facilities within the region," Yatin Bhamare, senior director of industrial engineering, innovation and tooling at Motus, said in emailed responses to Plastics News.
In 2018, auto manufacturing companies in Alabama touted new projects involving nearly $3.3 billion in capital investment and roughly 5,500 projected jobs, according to the state's department of commerce.
"This is our first facility built from the ground up and provides unique access that will allow Motus to capitalize on the rapidly growing automotive industry across the broader southeastern United States," Bhamare said.
Motus, a Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier, was formed in 2014 when private equity firm Atlas Holdings LLC helped a group of automotive executives buy Johnson Controls Inc.'s headliner and sun visor business. The remainder of JCI's interiors unit was spun off into a joint venture with Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems Co. Ltd. The joint venture is Yanfeng Automotive Interiors in Novi, Mich.
Motus has its North American headquarters in Holland, Mich., at JCI's former Maplewood facility. Globally, it has more than 2,000 employees in five manufacturing facilities across North America, Europe and Asia.