J.L. French Expansion Earns State Support

Wisconsin backs diecaster's $16-million capacity expansion

June 26, 2007 — J.L. French Automotive Castings Inc., an aluminum diecaster has been granted a $1.6-million loan by the State of Wisconsin, to aid in a capacity expansion of the group's Sheboygan plant. "Manufacturing has been the base of our state economy for generations," stated Governor Jim Doyle. "As we prepare for the economy of the future, we must continue our support for the workers and businesses that have always been our state's hallmark. J.L. French is one of Wisconsin's fine companies, creating good, family-supporting jobs for Wisconsin citizens."

J.L. French is expanding to increase capacity to produce high-pressure aluminum diecastings. Specific details of the project, which is estimated to cost $16 million, have not been released. The group lists oil pans, engine front covers, engine blocks, and transmission cases among its product offerings.

In May, Wisconsin's Sheboygan Press, reported J.L. French has invested $28 million in its diecasting and scrap processing plants in Sheboygan since completing a bankruptcy reorganization in 2006.

Wisconsin's loan is structured to be "forgiven" as J.L. French demonstrates its ability to create and maintain 100 new jobs at the expanded operation. Expressing thanks for the state's support, company chairman, president, and CEO Jack Falcon stated: "The automotive supply industry is continuing to progress through a significant transformation and J.L. French is doing the same. The support helps us continue our journey to be 'the best' supplier to our customers, and a great place to work for our people. We're grateful, and hope this is just the start of an expanded collaboration."

The aluminum diecaster, based in Sheboygan and operating plants in Glasgow, KY, Ansola, Spain, and a joint-venture in Chongqing, China. J.L. French recently sold a high-pressure diecasting operation in England to Amtek Auto, an Indian company.

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