GF Linamar LLC, a joint venture between Swiss-based GF Automotive and Canada-based Linamar Corporation, will invest $217 million in a new facility in the Town of Mills River, North Carolina. The construction will be in in two phases over the next seven years.
The company, which expects to create 350 manufacturing jobs in Henderson County during the coming five years, will supply light-weight powertrain, driveline and structural components to the North American automotive industry.
TGF Linamar will apply cutting-edge technology in producing light-weight automotive components that enhance vehicle fuel efficiency. GF Automotive’s parent company, Georg Fischer Ltd, was founded in 1802 and has operations in 31 countries. Linamar, founded in Canada in 1966, opened a manufacturing plant in Buncombe County in 2012. Just two years later, it launched a $115 million expansion there. Linamar also operates a forging facility in Wilson, North Carolina.
“We are very pleased to announce that we have selected Henderson County, North Carolina as the site of the GF Linamar LLC foundry,” stated Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Linamar. “This will be our 4th plant in North Carolina, an area where we have thrived thanks to a fantastic workforce and a great business environment. It is rapidly becoming an important hub for us to serve our customers in the southern U.S.”
“We appreciate very much the warm welcome and the support from the state of North Carolina and the Henderson County authorities," comments Yves Serra, CEO of GF. “The location is ideal for us and we look forward to a prosperous future for our joint venture in the U.S."
GF Linamar’s arrival in Henderson County will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee today. Under the terms of the company’s JDIG, GF Linamar is eligible to receive up to $4.2 million in total reimbursements. Payments will occur in annual installments over 12 years pending verification by NC Commerce and NC Revenue that the company has met incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIGs reimburse new and expanding companies a portion of the newly created tax-base with the goal of increasing the overall tax benefit to the State of North Carolina.
By law, JDIG projects must result in a net revenue inflow to the state treasury over the life of the award. For projects in Tier 3 counties such as Henderson County, 25 percent of the eligible grant is directed to the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account to help finance economic infrastructure in less populated counties. GF Linamar’s expansion could provide as much as $1.4 million in new funds for the Utility Account.
The project was also made possible by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina fund of up to $500,000. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. One NC grants also require and are contingent on financial matches from local governments.
“Two major international manufacturers are coming together and they’ve selected North Carolina as the destination for their innovative joint venture,” said Governor Pat McCrory. “Our hard-working, well-trained labor force and convenient proximity to leading automakers are among the many assets that make our state the ideal choice for strategic, innovation-based ventures such as GF Linamar."
Working with the North Carolina Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina were the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Department of Transportation, NCWorks, the North Carolina Community College System, Blue Ridge Community College, Henderson County, Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, Town of Mills River, Duke Energy, and Golden Leaf Foundation.