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The Press Newspaper

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An $8 million expansion of the Rieter Automotive automobile supply operation in Oregon will bring 150 new local union jobs.

Logan Creek Construction has commenced construction of the new 106,500 square foot manufacturing facility in the Oregon industrial area. 

Cedar Point Development, LLC, the owner, previously owned a 22-acre site at the intersection of Cedar Point and Wynn Roads in Oregon. Phase 1 was completed in 2006 and is currently leased to Advance Engineering of Redford, Michigan. Phase 2 is a built-to-suit project for Rieter Automotive North America Inc., (an Autoneum Group Company) who will operate the property under a long-term lease. 

Rieter Automotive North America, Inc. is a subsidiary of Autoneum, which is based in Winterthur, Switzerland, and operates on a global scale. The company is considered one of the global technology leaders in acoustics and thermal management solutions for motor vehicles. Customers include leading automobile producers in the key markets of Europe, North America and Asia. Autoneum is represented at 48 locations.

The Oregon facility currently provides components for the domestic OEM’s and employs over 300 full time employees. The new facility will be used to expand its product offerings for the North American Automotive industry.

Logan Creek Construction is an Oregon-based design-build contractor that operates on a national scale. Logan Creek has developed over three million square feet of industrial property in 10 states. 

Ed Harmon, managing member of Cedar Point Development, anticipates completing the building by January, 2012.

“We’re very happy about that. That is just such a great project for Oregon. It’s just a whole new product that is coming there,” Harmon said. “This particular product they are going to make for the auto industry — this is the only plant in North American that will produce this product. They had the choice of either going to South Carolina or Tennessee, but fortunately we helped and a good decision was made to put it to Oregon, Ohio.

“This particular product is a different concept than before, so I think obviously if you didn’t have the manufacturing going on, you wouldn’t have the plant. This plant will serve manufacturing assembly facilities in Mexico, Kentucky, Detroit, and Toledo, and some on the west coast,” Harmon continued.

Harmon, who is chairman of the board of Spartan Logistics, said Rieter Automotive is spending $18 to $20 million on the project, including equipment and resources.

Larry Hagood, Chief Operating Officer of Rieter Automotive North America, Inc. (an Autoneum Group Company), noted that this is the second major expansion for the Oregon facility over the past four years. The first expansion in 2007 was approximately 80,000 square feet during the launch of a program for the Ford F150. 

“We did have options in regards to where the right location would be for this business.  Given our past history of success in working with all of our partners in the local community, we chose Oregon,” Hagood said.

Jim Howell, president of Logan Creek Construction Co., says he looks forward to the opportunity to work with Autoneum to construct their new 106,500 square foot manufacturing facility. 

Howell states, “It is inspiring to see an anchor company like Autoneum expanding in our community.”


Fierce competition
Harmon, speaking from one of his company’s facilities in Little Rock, Arkansas, said competition in this sector has gotten fierce.

“We need it badly,” Harmon said. “I’ll tell you what — everybody is looking to make every deal they can.

“Of all the projects that I’ve done in Oregon, I’ve been more pleased and excited to bring this new plant and this new product to Oregon. It’s just going to be a great model for other models to do so. These are all new jobs for a different product altogether,” Harmon added.

Mike Beazley, Oregon city administrator, and Gary Thompson, director of JobsOhio for the Northwest Ohio region, said the auto industry plays a part in this expansion.

“In the auto business, I think that industry is finally getting to the right size. There are opportunities still in the auto industry. We had to go through a little pain. The whole industry is where we need to be now,” Thompson said.

Beazley said, “Obviously, Oregon residents as others in Northwest Ohio have with the increased unemployment and we’re glad to see local development and job opportunities. It’s a good step.

“The fact is that as the American automobile industry rebounds, that rebound is really happening in Northwest Ohio and Oregon is really a part of that. So we feel good and we want manufacturers in Oregon. It’s a good place to do business and we welcome doing more.”

Oregon’s Mayor Seferian states, "I want to thank Rieter Automotive, Logan Creek Construction Company and Cedar Point Development for the continued confidence they have shown in Oregon with the announcement of this latest investment and expansion.  We know Oregon is a great place to live and work. Employers that are building here clearly recognize that as well."

 

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