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New jobs with new Vette

Huntington plant to supply body panels, add 50 hires

The 2015 Corvette is driving a $6.3 million investment in Huntington that will create up to 50 new jobs by 2015, state officials announced Tuesday.

Continental Structural Plastics Inc. roared into northeast Indiana two years ago. The manufacturer, which now employs 286 full time in Huntington, will renovate its 203,000-square-foot factory. Work is to be completed by spring.

The Michigan-based company will also invest in equipment for a new production line for 2015 Corvette model body panels.

CSP makes exterior body panels and structural composites components for Ford and General Motors at 1890 Riverfork Drive in the Riverfork Industrial Park.

Besides supplying the auto industry, CSP sells to customers in the heavy truck, agriculture and building construction industries.

Company officials in August 2010 announced a plan to invest at least $9.1 million and create up to 350 jobs by 2012 in Huntington. The work was moved from northwest Ohio to the former Meridian Automotive Systems Inc. plant, which put 186 employees out of work when it closed in 2008.

Jon Smith, company spokesman, said CSP has fallen short of its job creation goals because demand for the parts it makes has also lagged.

But that doesn’t diminish local appreciation for the employer.

“CSP has made a huge impact in our city in a very short period of time as one of our newest and largest employers,” Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters said in a written statement.

Frank Macher, the company’s CEO, said the company is proud of its Huntington-based team.

“The partnership we have with the state of Indiana and the city of Huntington has been remarkable,” he said in a written statement. “The business-friendly policies and low-tax environment have made continued investment in our Huntington plant a very easy decision.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered CSP up to $300,000 in tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants that are contingent on the company meeting its hiring goals.

The city of Huntington will consider a property tax abatement on the project.

At a glance

Continental Structural Plastics Inc.
Business: The auto-parts supplier makes exterior body panels and structural composites components. Customers include Chrysler, General Motors, Ford and Toyota.
Based: Troy, Mich.
Founded: 1969
Locations: Six U.S. production plants, one Mexico factory, one Germany sales office and one Michigan research and development operation
Employees: 1,890, including 286 in Huntington
Ownership: Privately held
2011 revenue: Not disclosed

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