Honda supplier picks former General Motors town to relocate in Indiana

By Rick Yencer

ANDERSON, IN - A large Honda Automotive supplier will make a $21.7 million investment and hire 325 people to revive the auto industry once dominated by General Motors.

GTI Anderson is the name of the new plant to be located at the city's Flagship Technology Park off Interstate 69 and near the giant Nestle's plant at the Ind. 67 south exit.
Gov. Mitch Daniels joined Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith and other officials and business representatives Tuesday to break ground on he new plant where construction will begin next week.

Smith welcomed Greenville Technology and its parent Moriroko, that makes plastic components for Honda Civics, Accord, CRV and Acura to the community in an economic development deal that reportedly lured the plant away from Richmond. Actually 20 states competed for GTI's new plant.

Bill LaFramboise, executive vice president of GTI, said extra capacity was needed for its Greenville, Ohio plant.

"We chose Indiana and specifically Anderson because of the availability of a good good site, a cooperative government and a plentiful workforce." he said.

GTI also looked at improved efficiency and proximity to Honda's assembly plant in Greensburg, IN. Honda just announced a $40 million expansion and hiring 300 more people to increase production of hybrid Civics.

Construction of the new plant is expected to begin next week with its opening in January 2013 to begin production of plastic dashboards, glove boxes, arm rests and other plastic components for Honda.

LaFramboise said management and supervisors already were being hired for the plant. Prospective workers can go to [email protected] to apply. Starting pay for technical jobs could be $15 an hour. And the 325 job mark should be met by 2016.

Gov. Mitch Daniels lauded the Japanese auto parts manufacturer, saying it was another example of the Honda plant triggering more new jobs and business opportunities.

The state was generous with $1.7 million in tax credits and another $100,000 in training grants while Anderson put up $3.75 million in tax increment financing to help with infrastructure and utilities for the new plant.

Sen. Doug Eckerty, R-Yorktown, called the development great news for the future of Anderson. He also serves on the Flagship Enterprise Board and is a retired insurance agent.

"With our strong labor force and resources, I believe we will see similar developments in other industries over the next few years," said Eckerty who hoped the development would energize eastern Indiana.

Indiana has the second largest motor vehicle industry in the country and Anderson was once home to Delco and Guide Lamp that employed more than 25,000 people. GTI is the first Japanese company to locate in Anderson, and its parent, Moriroku, is a global manufacturer with operations in Japan, China, India, the Philippines as well as North America. 

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