Auto supplier bringing 220 jobs to River Ridge

A 300k sq ft automotive parts plant is headed for Southern Indiana River Ridge Commerce Center, bringing 220 jobs to the area.

By Ed Green  –  Senior Reporter, Louisville Business First

Feb 5, 2014

Autoneum, a Switzerland-based company that makes acoustic and thermal insulation for auto manufacturers, selected the industrial park in Jeffersonville for a plant.

The plant will be located on 23 acres recently purchased by an affiliate of Louisville-based Crossdock Development Inc. from the River Ridge Development Authority.

According to a purchase and sale agreement obtained from the authority, Crossdock paid $1.25 million for the land.

One Southern Indiana and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s office issued a news release early Wednesday confirming Autoneum’s plan to locate at River Ridge.

The release said the automotive supplier would be the first Tier 1 automotive supplier to locate within the sprawling 3,000-acre River Ridge development.

The site was selected, the release said, as a result of Autoneum’s customer base in the region, the area’s labor force and infrastructure availability.

Autoneum is a supplier for, among others, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), Honda Motor Co., General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) — all of which have automotive assembly plants in either Indiana or Kentucky.

“Indiana has established itself around the world as the location of choice for businesses to invest and create jobs,” Pence said in the release. “Our competitive tax climate, strong work force and unmatched infrastructure help global companies like Autoneum continue to recognize Indiana as a state that works for business.”

“This expansion of Autoneum’s production capacity in order to meet increasing customer demands is further evidence that our lightweight acoustic and thermal management products are indeed valued by our customers, the automobile manufacturers,” Autoneum CEO Martin Hirzel said in the release.

“This is even more so, since Autoneum provides products and technologies which focus on improving vehicle fuel economy and acoustics, a feature which is currently particularly demanded by the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers),” he added.

One Southern Indiana president and CEO Wendy Dant Chesser called Autoneum’s expansion “a good example of the resurgence of the automotive industry.”

The company is “precisely the type of long-term, job-creating employer we want to attract to our area,” Chesser said in the release.

The sales agreement says that an affiliate of Crossdock, which is led by developer Lee Wilburn, will construct the Autoneum facility, which is scheduled to open in 2015.

Crossdock also was the developer in River Ridge for Catamaran Corp.’s (NASDAQ: CTRX) 200-employee specialty pharmacy facility.

The company also was involved in a deal that resulted in Inc. decision to locate a facility with more than 1,200 jobs at River Ridge.

As Business First reported late last year, River Ridge now has more than 35 companies employing about 5,000 workers in its park.

And only about 450 acres of 3,000 acres the authority acquired from the U.S. Army since 1998 has been sold to developers.

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