The presence of Ficosa has been boosted in the US by the opening of a manufacturing facility in Cookeville, Tennessee. With an investment of over $50m, the plant is equipped with the sector’s latest technology, becoming the most advanced in Ficosa’s global portfolio.
The Cookeville facility, which has a total surface area of 270,000ft2, is dedicated to producing rear view systems for automotive manufacturers such as Nissan, Ford, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors. The plant has an average production capacity of 4.5m rear view mirrors and will add nearly 500 new and advanced manufacturing jobs in the US and Tennessee. This production centre, whose construction started in June 2015, celebrated its grand opening on 28th October with the presence of Rep. Diane Black, Cookeville City Mayor Ricky Shelton, Putnam County Executive Randy Porter, and other main authorities of the area and key automotive manufacturers.
“Today marks a great day for Ficosa and Tennessee,” said Javier Pujol, CEO of Ficosa, during the event. “This facility is a strategic move that allows the consolidation of key operations and enables a further future growth in one of the largest automobile markets in the world, where Ficosa has been present since 1994. By opening these premises we are not only improving the group’s efficiency and operational capacity in the region, but also reinforcing our commitment to bring more advanced manufacturing jobs to the U.S. and to help lay the foundation for a more successful manufacturing future in the state of Tennessee.”
The plant is bringing hundreds of new jobs to Cookeville, with job positions opening up daily, from production and project managers, technicians and engineers, to human resource specialists and assembly and warehouse workers.
In addition, Javier Pujol explained that the Cookeville’s facility also strengthens the company’s business alliance with Panasonic – which started in 2015 – in North America (United States and Mexico). “We are boosting a plan to align the industrial strategy of Ficosa with Panasonic in the region of North America, in order to accelerate the launch of products in the areas of connectivity, efficiency and safety. This plan allows us to support the growth of the local market and increase our capacity in R&D in mirrors, shifters and technologies that we are developing together with Panasonic, bringing together our technological capabilities with the know-how in electronics of the Japanese company.”
In June 2016, Ficosa North America was awarded four contracts from two American OEMs to produce 8,900,000 units of rear-view mirrors over a period of five years. Three of the four orders will be produced at the Cookeville’s plant, with an estimated economic value of $460m. Production on those contracts is scheduled to start first quarter of 2018.