Magneti Marelli opened its new $54 million automotive lighting plant for the production of headlamps and rear lights in Pulaski, Tennessee. The plant currently employs 90 people but the firm anticipates its workforce will grow to approximately 850 employees within the next four years.
This is the Italian-based company’s first lighting production plant in the United States, further strengthening an already established presence in the NAFTA region, which includes plants in Ciudad Juárez and Tepotzotlán, Mexico, and its R&D Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
Currently, the industrial area dedicated to lighting covers approximately 161,500 sq. ft., which will be expanded to just over 213,000 sq. ft. next year. The plant has a production capacity of 2.5 million lighting units a year, which will gradually increase to 5 million in 2016. The new site has already won orders from Chrysler Group, Mercedes and GM. The first headlights will be produced for Chrysler Group's all-new 2014 Jeep® Cherokee, which mounts halogen, bi-Xenon and LED Day Time Running Light headlamps.
The company said its Pulaski plant will apply cutting edge technology, according to the standards of Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting, employing the best of halogen, Xenon and LED lighting solutions, in addition to adaptive and smart lighting systems.
"Today is particularly significant because it marks the successful completion of an ambitious project, as well as a new beginning and a new life for this plant," said Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat S.p.A and Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group "What has been achieved here demonstrates the strong commitment and sense of purpose of everyone involved to create value for the future, and to generate growth and prosperity for this area."
"The inauguration of the new plant in Pulaski shows the intention of Magneti Marelli to respond quickly to the growth of this market, while at the same time guaranteeing quality, a technological level of excellence and the satisfaction of our key customers, in a context that is rich in opportunity yet at the same time highly challenging," said Magneti Marelli CEO Eugenio Razelli. "The expansion of our footprint in the NAFTA region further equips us to respond appropriately and adequately to these challenges in an area that is vital for the growth of Lighting and Magneti Marelli as a whole."
"I want to congratulate Magneti Marelli for the opening of its new facility and its continued investment in Tennessee," Gov. Bill Haslam said. "Magneti Marelli chose the Pulaski plant as its first Automotive Lighting facility in the U.S., and I want to thank them for helping bring us another step closer to achieving our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs."
Tennessee awarded Magneti Marelli a package of investment incentives. This, along with the proximity to key customers and the ability to build on an industrial presence already active in the business area of shock absorbers, played an important part in the choice of Pulaski as the location for its new automotive lighting plant, the company said.