Riverside has landed an automotive parts factory that’s expected to employ 263 workers manufacturing interior trim components for General Motors vehicles assembled at plants in Fairfax and Wentzville, Mo.
By KEVIN COLLISON
The Kansas City Star
The $45 million project by Yanfeng USA Automotive Trim Systems, a Chinese firm, was announced Friday morning by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. Construction of the 258,000 square-foot plant is expected to begin next month with operations starting in early 2014.
“Yanfeng’s decision to build a new production facility in Riverside and create 263 new manufacturing jobs is more excellent news for our state’s automotive industry sector and economy as a whole,” Nixon said.
The plant will be built in the Riverside Horizons Business Park being developed by NorthPoint Development along the Missouri River.
“this is another example of the NorthPoint and Riverside team working together to win this project,” said Brent Miles, vice president at NorthPoint. “It adds value to the Horizons Park, especially as it relates to automotive suppliers.”
Yanfeng Automotive Trim is a subsidiary of Yanfeng Visteon of China. Since its founding in 1994, Yanfeng Visteon has opened more than 90 production facilities worldwide and exports products to 16 countries.
“Missouri offers Yanfeng USA an excellent business climate from which to serve our automotive customers and we are excited to join the state’s strong community of automotive companies,” said David Wang, president of Yanfeng USA.
The new Riverside plant is expected to manufacture interior trim components including door panels, floor consoles and instrument panels for the GM plants in Fairfax and Wentzville.
GM is investing $600 million in upgrades to the Fairfax facility, which employs almost 4,000 people assembling Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Malibu. It also recently announced its starting a new pickup truck line at the Wentzville plant in suburban St. Louis that will add 1,200 jobs.
The Kansas City area also has benefited from a huge investment by Ford Motor Co. in its Claycomo plant. Ford is investing $1.1 billion here and is adding 1,600 employees locally, bringing the total to 5,400 workers assembling F-150 pickup trucks and Transit Connect delivery vans.
“The historic expansions by Ford and GM during 2011 have transformed Missouri’s economy, putting our state on the map as the leader of the rebirth of the American auto industry,” Nixon said.
Riverside officials also welcome the new plant. Over the past two years, about 1.3 million square-feet of industrial buildings have gone up in the Horizons Business Park.
“Yanfeng is precisely the type of long-term, job-creating employer we want to attract to our Horizons development, not from across town or the state line, bu from around the country and the world,” said Mayor Kay Rose.
Bob Marcusse, president of the Kansas City Area Development Council, said the new Yanfeng plant is a spinoff of the major investments locally by Ford and GM in their core automotive plants.
“As both Ford and GM expand capacity or add new products, opportunities are created with suppliers to those companies,” Marcusse said.
Details on the economic incentives provided by Missouri to land the Yanfeng manufacturing facility were not immediately available.
This is the second announcement in recent weeks about an auto supplier opening a new facility in the area.
Earlier this month, Adrian Steel said it was leasing 11 acres for a new 32,000 square-foot manufacturing and logistics center at the Hunt Midwest Business Center at Interstate 435 and Northeast Parvin Road.
The company plans to invest $4.7 million in the facility and hire 39 people to make and install interiors for the new Ford Transit commercial van to be built at the Claycomo plant.
To reach Kevin Collison, call 816-234-4289 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @kckansascity