Area Development
Draexlmaier Automotive of America LLC has announced it will expand its Duncan, SC, facility in Spartanburg County with a $22.4 million investment. The project is expected to create 150 jobs over the next five years. The company will begin hiring for the positions in July.

Dräxlmaier manufactures premium interiors and plastic components at the Duncan site, which doubles as the firm's U.S. headquarters. The facility has been expanded twice since being built in 1998, It operates as a subsididary of Germany-based Dräxlmaier Group; a partner to the automobile industry at 57 sites on four continents in 21 different countries.

The company' s investment includes the previously announced addition of a $10 million, 64,500-sq.-ft. production building to the existing facility, as well as upgrades to the plant infrastructure and equipment. The new production hall will expand the plant's capacity by more than 33 percent, and house state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge technology for the assembly of vehicle interiors and components, including instrument panels, center consoles and door panels.

Construction of the building addition has been underway since early March, and is expected to be completed by mid-September 2011.

"Our Duncan plant plays an important strategic role for our North America business," said Karl Wallner, board member of the Germany-based Dräxlmaier Group. "The expansion shows that we are committed to a steady growth in this region. The well-trained and highly skilled workforce in South Carolina will help us to design and manufacture high-quality products for the international automotive industry."

Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt noted that his state's automotive sector continues to grow, and this expansion announcement "is another indication of that fact."