Leading automotive parts supplier to bring 118 jobs to Kansas City, Gov. Nixon announces

Missouri’s resurgent automotive industry is bringing another leading automotive parts supplier and more jobs to the Kansas City region, Gov. Jay Nixon announced today. Grupo Antolin North America will invest more than $15.7 million in a 150,000 square-foot automotive manufacturing facility to supply Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant, creating an estimated 118 new jobs.

“Creating good jobs for Missouri families by growing Missouri’s auto industry remains a central focus of my administration and today these efforts continue to pay off in real ways for this region and our state,” said Gov. Nixon. “Grupo Antolin’s decision to locate a brand new manufacturing facility and create 118 new jobs in Kansas City is another example of how Ford’s record investment in Claycomo continues to have positive ripple effects throughout this region. With balanced budgets and strategic investments in our workforce, we will keep this industry growing and our economy moving forward. I am very pleased to welcome Grupo Antolin to the Show-Me State.”

“Kansas City represents enormous opportunities for Grupo Antolin,” said Max Rogers, President of Grupo Antolin North America. “Missouri’s friendly corporate climate and close proximity to major automakers put us in a position to better serve our clients and continue to grow.”

Grupo Antolin’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Kansas City will initially produce headliners for the all-new Ford Transit van, which will be manufactured at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo. In August, the Governor met with leaders from Grupo Antolin to discuss the project during the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Conference in Traverse City, Michigan.

Grupo Antolin is an international automotive parts manufacturing company. 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. Headquartered in Spain, Grupo Antolin has 100 manufacturing plants and 22 offices in 25 countries, including nine facilities in the United States.

“Global manufacturing companies, like Grupo Antolin, have many choices when it comes to where they operate. This announcement shows that this region is competitive with any region in the world,” said Kansas City Mayor James. “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.”

Since taking office, Gov. Nixon has made it a top priority of his administration to reenergize the Missouri automotive industry, which had experienced years of steady decline. From 2004 to 2009, automotive industry employment declined by 35 percent.

That is why 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 in Missouri. The Governor and his economic development team also traveled to Detroit to meet with automotive industry leaders, including leadership of Ford and General Motors. 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. In May, Ford announced that it would hire an additional 900 workers in Claycomo for a third shift of F-150 production. In 2011, Ford confirmed plans to make an investment of $1.1 billion and create 1,600 new jobs at the facility as part of a historic expansion that includes construction of a new stamping plant and production of the Ford Transit van, previously built only overseas. General Motors also announced plans in 2011 to create more than 1,600 jobs and invest $380 million to bring production of the newly-redesigned Colorado pickup to Wentzville and support demand for its existing vehicles. This past June, GM announced an additional $133 million investment at the facility to add a third stamping press.

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 in January. 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.