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Gov. Nixon helps cut ribbon at global auto supplier’s Missouri facility

makethumbnail-aspxGov. Jay Nixon today joined Kansas City Mayor Sly James, the Spanish Ambassador to America, Ramón Gil-Casares Satrústegui, and community leaders to cut the ribbon on Grupo Antolin’s new manufacturing facility in Missouri, which will create 118 new jobs over the next two years. The event gave a first look at the new 148,000 square-foot facility, which houses high-tech manufacturing equipment to produce customized headliners for Ford’s all new Missouri-made Transit van.

“Ford’s record investment in Kansas City continues to make this region a hub for next-generation auto jobs, and we proudly welcome Grupo Antolin to the area with their new state-of-the art manufacturing facility,” Gov. Nixon said. “This significant investment and new jobs adds another chapter to the story of America’s automotive industry comeback where Missouri continues to play a central role with our highly skilled workforce, low energy costs, and a commitment to advancing the automotive industry.”

In November of last year, Gov. Jay Nixon announced Grupo Antolin North America’s plan to invest more than $18 million in a new automotive manufacturing facility to supply Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo. The new facility will allow the company to be closer to its customers as well as increase production capacity to 3,500-4,000 headliners a day. The company projects that by 2016, all vehicles manufactured in Missouri will feature headliners produced by the Kansas City facility.

“For more than 20 years the USA automotive sector has been important for our organization. And the opening of our new factory in Missouri is another step of our plan to expand in this market,” Ernesto Antolin, Vice Chairman of Grupo Antolin said. “Missouri has all the factors in becoming a leading state for the automotive industry in this country. We look forward to strengthening our presence in the state.”

Headquartered in Spain, Grupo Antolin is an international automotive supplier with over 100 manufacturing plants and 22 offices in 25 countries, including nine facilities in the United States. The company designs, manufactures, and supplies automotive overhead systems, interior trim and door functions, ambient and functional lighting products, lighting consoles and seat functions for major auto manufacturers worldwide, including Ford and General Motors.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Grupo Antolin to our community and look forward to seeing the economic benefit this announcement brings to the people who live here,” said Mayor Sly James. “This ribbon cutting is another milestone for our economy and shows that Kansas City has momentum strong enough to attract an international company like Grupo Antolin.”

Since taking office, Gov. Nixon has made it a top priority of his administration to reenergize the Missouri automotive industry. On his first full day as Governor, Gov. Nixon established the Missouri Automotive Jobs Task Force to make recommendations on strategies to attract automotive investment to Missouri. In the summer of 2010, the Governor called a special session of the General Assembly to pass the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act, a package of strategic incentives to attract next-generation automotive manufacturing to the state.

As a result of these efforts, Missouri’s automotive manufacturing industry has rebounded. Ford and General Motors have invested a combined $1.5 billion and created thousands of jobs to produce all-new next-generation vehicles at their facilities in Claycomo and Wentzville. Missouri has also seen strong growth among automotive suppliers. Grupo Antolin joins suppliers such as Janesville Acoustics, Yanfeng USA Automotive Trim Systems, SRG Global, Adrian Steel, Toyota Bodine and Martinrea Riverside LLC in announcing plans to invest and expand in the Show-Me State over the past year.

The City of Kansas City, along with partners including the Missouri Partnership, Kansas City Area Development Council, KCP&L, and the Kansas City Economic Development Corporation, began its outreach activities with Grupo Antolin last year, with Gov. Nixon meeting with company leadership last summer in Traverse Michigan. The State of Missouri and local partners’ strategic package of economic incentives will be available to the company if it meets the strict job creation and investment criteria.