Spanish Supplier to Ford Opens New Factory in Missouri

Spanish Supplier to Ford Opens New Factory in Missouri

May 23, 2014
Grupo Antolin will manufacture headliners for Ford’s Missouri-made Transit van. 

It was an international gathering at the ribbon-cutting ceremony in Missouri as Gov. Jay Nixon , Ramón Gil-Casares Satrústegui, the Spanish Ambassador to America, and Kansas City Mayor Sly James were in attendance on May 21 as Grupo Antolin opened its new manufacturing facility in Missouri.

The plant, which will employ 118 over the next two years, houses high-tech manufacturing equipment to produce customized headliners for Ford’s new Missouri-made Transit van.

“Ford’s record investment in Kansas City continues to make this region a hub for next-generation auto jobs, and we proudly welcome Grupo Antolin to the area with their new state-of-the art manufacturing facility,” Gov. Jay Nixon said.

The new facility will increase production capacity to 3,500-4,000 headliners a day. The company projects that by 2016, all vehicles manufactured in Missouri will feature headliners produced by the Kansas City facility.

“For more than 20 years the USA automotive sector has been important for our organization,” Ernesto Antolin, vice chairman of Grupo Antolin. “Missouri has all the factors in becoming a leading state for the automotive industry in this country. We look forward to strengthening our presence in the state.”

Headquartered in Spain, Grupo Antolin is an international automotive supplier with over 100 manufacturing plants and 22 offices in 25 countries, including nine facilities in the United States. The company designs, manufactures, and supplies automotive overhead systems, interior trim and door functions, ambient and functional lighting products, lighting consoles and seat functions for major auto manufacturers worldwide, including Ford and General Motors.
 

Since taking office, Gov. Nixon has made it a top priority of his administration to reenergize the Missouri automotive industry. On his first full day as Governor, Gov. Nixon established the Missouri Automotive Jobs Task Force to make recommendations on strategies to attract automotive investment to Missouri. In the summer of 2010, the Governor called a special session of the General Assembly to pass the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act, a package of strategic incentives to attract next-generation automotive manufacturing to the state.

As a result of these efforts, Missouri's automotive manufacturing industry has rebounded. Ford and General Motors have invested a combined $1.5 billion and created thousands of jobs to produce all-new next-generation vehicles at their facilities in Claycomo and Wentzville. Missouri has also seen strong growth among automotive suppliers. Grupo Antolin joins suppliers such as Janesville Acoustics, Yanfeng USA Automotive Trim Systems, SRG Global, Adrian Steel, Toyota Bodine and Martinrea Riverside LLC in announcing plans to invest and expand in the Show-Me State over the past year.

About the Author

Adrienne Selko | Senior Editor

Focus: Workforce, Talent 

Follow Me on Twitter: @ASelkoIW

Bio: Adrienne Selko has written about many topics over the 17 years she has been with the publication and currently focuses on workforce development strategies. Previously Adrienne was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck? which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics and EHS Today

Editorial mission statement: Manufacturing is the enviable position of creating products, processes and policies that solve the world’s problems. When the industry stepped up to manufacture what was necessary to combat the pandemic, it revealed its true nature. My goal is to showcase the sector’s ability to address a broad range of workforce issues including technology, training, diversity & inclusion, with a goal of enticing future generations to join this amazing sector.

Why I find manufacturing interesting: On my first day working for a company that made medical equipment such as MRIs, I toured the plant floor. On every wall was a photo of a person, mostly children. I asked my supervisor why this was the case and he said that the work we do at this company has saved these people’s lives. “We never forget how important our work is and everyone’s contribution to that.” From that moment on I was hooked on manufacturing.

I have talked with many people in this field who have transformed their own career development to assist others. For example, companies are hiring those with disabilities, those previously incarcerated and other talent pools that have been underutilized. I have talked with leaders who have brought out the best in their workforce, as well as employees doing their best work while doing good for the world. 

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