Linamar announces additional $115 million expansion, 150 new jobs

Press release from the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County:

In conjunction with the Buncombe County Commission, Asheville City Council, and the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC), Linamar announces a $190 million investment in facilities and equipment and 400 new positions at its Arden campus. This commitment is an increase of $115 million and 150 jobs to Linamar’s second announcement in June of 2012, which encompassed a $75 million investment and 250 new employees. Linamar is a diversified global manufacturing company of highly engineered products with facilities across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Today’s announcement represents a new product line for Linamar Asheville bringing state of the art machining of high-technology transmission gears for the automotive industry. These gears are a critical component to improved passenger car fuel economy. Currently, the Asheville location makes engine blocks for major industrial brand names including Caterpillar and Volvo Construction Equipment.

Since purchasing the Volvo Construction property three short years ago Linamar has grown to approximately 200 employees. Renovation of its second building on the campus will begin this fall, and hiring is expected to begin as early as first quarter of 2015.

“We are very excited about our continued expansion in North Carolina,” said company CEO Linda Hasenfratz, “Expanding our gear business globally is a key priority for us, and we plan to create a state of the art facility here in Asheville to do just that.”

“It’s fantastic to see Linamar expanding here in Buncombe County.  The County Commissioners are proud to be a part of helping to bring additional jobs to our county through a world class company that recognizes the dedication and highly adaptable skills of our workforce.  I’m proud of Linamar’s management and its employees as they continue to grow in our community,” commented David Gantt, Chairman of the Buncombe County Commission.

“Today’s announcement by Linamar is great reinforcement that Asheville is working in the global economy.  As a corporate citizen, Linamar mirrors many of our city’s strategic goals, including a commitment to sustainability, diversity, fiscal responsibility, and serving as a high performing organization.  We appreciate Linamar’s growing presence in Asheville, and we are excited about the creation of hundreds of advanced manufacturing positions in the City,” said Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer.

“Linamar’s success elevates Asheville’s growing reputation as a national leader in advanced manufacturing.  There are only a few plants in the world that can produce products with such refined tolerances. We are extremely pleased Asheville has been selected for this project,” said Paul Szurek, EDC Chairman.

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Press release from the office of Governor Pat McCrory:

Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced today that Linamar North Carolina, Inc., is expanding operations in Buncombe County.  The company plans to create 150 new jobs and invest $115 million over the next several years in Arden, near Asheville.

“This is how we like to do business in North Carolina: grow with our existing industries,” said Governor McCrory. “Linamar fits into the automotive industry supply chain and that in turn fits right into our North Carolina jobs plan.”

Linamar Corporation is based in Guelph, Ontario and is a world-class designer and manufacturer of components and systems for the automotive and commercial vehicle industry, energy and mobile industrial markets.  It is a leading supplier of engine transmission driveline products and mobile aerial work platforms. The Asheville precision machining facility produces components for commercial diesel engines and off highway vehicles and employs nearly 170 workers.

“This expansion will establish a gear manufacturing base in the Southeastern United States for Linamar North Carolina,” said Secretary Decker.  “These new jobs add to our number one ranking for the most manufacturing jobs in the Southeast.”

Employees in Asheville will manufacture gears for automotive transmissions. Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual payroll for the new jobs will be nearly $6.4 million.

“We are very excited about our continued expansion in North Carolina,” said company CEO Linda Hasenfratz. “Expanding our gear business globally is a key priority for us and we plan to create a state of the art facility here in Asheville to do just that.”

The project was made possible in part 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.  These grants are contingent upon local matches.

In June of 2012, Linamar received a Job Development Investment Grant committing the company to 250 jobs and a $75 million investment.  Over nine years, the JDIG award could yield aggregate benefits to Linamar of $2.6 million upon the creation of the new jobs.

“Linamar has progressed quickly in just three years time to grow in Asheville,” said Senator Tom Apodaca. “This latest expansion represents a new product line for Linamar Asheville where employees will make transmission gears with the latest high-tech equipment.”

“Linamar’s advanced manufacturing of engine blocks and now transmission gears is welcome news for South Asheville,” said Representative Tim Moffitt.  “This company is committed to Buncombe County and recognizes our great workforce. We wish them continued success.”

Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Partnership of N.C., N.C. Community Colleges, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Duke Energy, Buncombe County, Asheville, and the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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One thought on “Linamar announces additional $115 million expansion, 150 new jobs

  1. “As he has many times in the past, Representative Moffitt worked tirelessly with local and state leaders and got the job done. His cooperative, bipartisan approach to economic development benefits the citizens of Buncombe County — directly, in the form of 1,400 new jobs. Buncombe County has Tim Moffitt to thank for that.”
    — Sharon Decker, NC Secretary of Commerce

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