Hiring could top out at 400 people in potential expansion phases.
"We came to the point where we could supply the European continent and other areas from our European factories," Ummen said. "But we had to plan for the potential growth in the North and South American markets.
"After Europe, where our roots and our largest markets are, it is America first, of course," Ummen said.
Europe accounts for more than 50 percent of Optibelt's overall turnover.
"The Americas represent the second largest market for us and—by far—the fastest-growing region," he said.
Capacity at the Mexican site "should be about 1 million units per year," Ummen said, though volume is difficult to estimate as the types of belts vary in size and weight. "The belt range is very diversified—we have long belts, heavy belts, lighter belts—but roughly in the first year, around 1 million pieces of belts per year.
"It is our intention to increase this capacity in Mexico," Ummen said.
Optibelt works in EPDM, polyurethane, SBR, chloroprene and many other common types of elastomers to make its belts.
The company controls eight production sites in six countries from its global headquarters in Hoxter and maintains its own logistics and sales centers in Europe, North and South America, as well as in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Worldwide, Optibelt sees approximately $345 million in annual net sales and has more than 2,400 employees.
The company sells direct to OEMs and to a distribution network for its belting products.