Linamar will expand Asheville plant, add 250 jobs, invest $75 million

A year after Linamar made headlines with the announcement that it would set up shop in Asheville, the Canadian auto-parts manufacturer is expanding, adding 250 more jobs and $75 million in facilities and equipment.

The Economic Development Coalition announced the expansion at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting this evening.

“This commitment, along with the 400 jobs and $125 million investment Linamar made public in June 2011, marks a total of $200 million and 650 jobs announced over the past 12 months,” a statement from the EDC reads. “Linamar attributes this significant expansion to its successful launch in Asheville, to the strength of the local workforce and regional expertise in metals machining.”

“It certainly indicates a lot of momentum for our economy,” EDC Executive Director Ben Teague tells Xpress. “It means we have a very, very promising future.”

The expansion deal also involves $4.5 million in new tax incentives from Buncombe County and $1 million from the city of Asheville, as well as state funds.

Linamar has already had a grand opening after setting up shop in the former Volvo plant, and hired about 80 people. As operations increase, hiring will continue at the pace of about 80 jobs a year and the company will construct an additional building as its workload increases.

“They’re going to be pretty much constantly hiring for the next eight years,” Teague notes.

No word yet on new jobs fairs (Linamar has held three since its announcement last year), but will participate in the chamber’s December job fair. The jobs will pay $42,542 a year on average.

“We have had a great experience in our first year in Asheville,” Nick Adams, president of Linamar’s Industrial, Commercial and Energy Group, declares in the official announcement. “The tremendous support provided by the City of Asheville, Buncombe County and the state of North Carolina has been instrumental in our decision to expand our business here. As we said last June, we wanted to become part of the community and continue to grow here. We’re thrilled to be making this happen.”

Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chair David Gantt also enthuses over the news, asserting that “these two investments are indisputable evidence of the significant impact manufacturing has on our regional economy.”

“There’s no better proof of the strength of North Carolina’s business climate than one of our newest companies already expanding,” Gov. Perdue said in her own announcement. “Our investments in education and infrastructure are paying off with an educated, skilled workforce that is attracting new jobs.”




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