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Universal Bearings Invests $39.1 Million To Expand Its Bremen, Indiana, Manufacturing Center

Universal Bearings, a manufacturer of loose needles and needle bearings, will invest $39.1 million to expand its operations in Bremen, Indiana, creating up to 78 new jobs by 2017.

The company, a subsidiary of South Korea-based Hanwha Group, will to construct and equip a new 100,000 square-foot building on its 13-acre campus in Bremen. The facility, which will be operational next February, will house the company’s production of needle bearings and induction heat treated products.

“Being part of the Hanwha Group, a worldwide organization, opportunities for locating the expansion elsewhere were investigated,” said David C. Ketcham, Vice President of Finance and Administration. “While some of our customers have pushed us to expand into other locations, we chose Bremen, Ind. because we’ve had a successful history here. The town council, Marshall County and Indiana were very supportive, the workforce is very strong and Bremen proved to be the best option when all components were considered.”

Founded in 1959, Universal Bearings is a high-volume manufacturer of loose needle rollers and needle bearings, sold primarily to the automotive industry in transmissions, engines, drivetrains and other automotive applications. Earning TS-16949 and ISO-14001 certifications, the company has been recognized with Q1 quality ratings from Ford and with the Supplier Quality Excellence Award from General Motors. Universal Bearings, which currently employs approximately 250 full-time Indiana associates, plans to begin hiring in October.

“It takes skills to build the products that keep our world moving and international companies are increasingly concluding that Hoosiers have those skills,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Automotive suppliers like Universal Bearings thrive here because Indiana is a state that works for manufacturing. With our dedicated workforce and strong business climate, companies discover a competitive advantage here and dedicate their savings for future growth.”

As an incentive, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Universal Bearings up to $500,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $85,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The town of Bremen approved additional tax abatement at the request of the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation.

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