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GF Automotive produces steel and aluminum castings for automotive chassis powertrain and body and structural parts including some engine blocks and turbocharger housings for BMW models The new plant reportedly will supply a ldquoEuropean car makerrdquo

GF Linamar Joint Venture Picks North Carolina Site

March 1, 2016
$217-million aluminum automotive casting/machining plant to start in 2017 ... Powertrain, driveline, and structural components

A reported $217-million automotive aluminum diecasting and machining plant will be built this year in Henderson County, NC, to start next year producing “powertrain, driveline, and structural components.” Partners GF Automotive and Linamar Corp. announced their project last July, and reported their location late in February. Manufacturing is due to start in 2017.

The location is about 40 miles north of Greenville, SC, where BMW US Manufacturing Co. assembles cars and SUVs. South Carolina also will be home to a new Volvo Car USA LLC plant, and other foreign automakers have assembly plants across the Southeast states.

The joint-venture partners made it clear in their initial announcement that the new plant would supply a “European car maker.”

GF Linamar LLC will have an initial investment of $100 million. The larger capital-investment amount was reported by local development officials. The partners have not detailed the manufacturing operation, other than that it will combine their respective expertise in metalcasting and machining.

The 57-acre development will draw financial support from a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the North Carolina’s Economic Investment Committee today. The project is eligible to receive up to $4.2 million in total reimbursements in 12 annual installments, pending verification by state agencies that the plant has met incremental goals for job creation and investment.

“We appreciate very much the warm welcome and the support from the state of North Carolina and the Henderson County authorities,” according to Yves Serra, CEO of GF. “The location is ideal for us and we look forward to a prosperous future for our joint venture in the U.S.”

GF Automotive is a business unit of Switzerland-based GF, the organization formerly known as Georg Fischer Ltd. The automotive business produces ferrous castings at plants in Austria, Germany, and China, and aluminum and magnesium diecastings in Austria and China.

Ontario-based Linamar has two operating segments: Powertrain/Driveline and Industrial. Recently, it completed a $875-million takeover of Montupet S.A., an aluminum automotive foundry group with seven plants in Europe and Mexico. Those operations will be added to the group’s steel forging, machining, and other operations as Linamar expands its automotive powertrain and driveline business.

“We are very pleased to announce that we have selected Henderson County, North Carolina, as the site of the GF Linamar LLC plant,” stated Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Linamar. “This will be our fourth plant in North Carolina, an area where we have thrived thanks to a fantastic workforce and a great business environment. It is rapidly becoming an important hub for us to serve our customers in the southern US and North America overall.”

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)