MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN) – Only 2 NEWS met one-on-one with the man bringing hundreds of jobs to the former General Motors plant in Moraine.
The chairman of Fuyao, a Chinese automotive glass manufacturer, said his company paid $15 million for 1.4 million square feet of the north end of the plant that shuttered in 2008.
Governor John Kasich’s office said it’s the largest Chinese investment ever made in Ohio.
Shortly after closing the deal, Chairman Cao sat down exclusively with our Katie Ussin to talk about his long-term commitment to our community.
He said he has an aggressive timeline for the Moraine facility, which will be Fuyao’s first North American auto glass manufacturing site.
The chairman said the first phase of the project will be a $200 million investment in remodeling the building. He said he likes the site itself and will recycle and reuse much of the infrastructure.
He said the goal is to finish modifications to the building by November 30 of this year, so they can start installing equipment shortly after.
Hiring has already begun for upper management and key personnel, but that’s just the beginning.
Chairman Cao says he’s looking at hiring 1,000 people by the end of 2016, and hopes to start hiring 200 to 300 manufacturing positions this September.
The National Association of Manufacturers reports the average annual compensation in manufacturing in Ohio is about $66,700.
“From a strategic perspective, we’re thinking about paying people 3 percent to 5 percent above market,” said Chairman Cao when asked about employee salaries. A benefits package and retirement plan are also expected.
The chairman said four million sets of automotive glass will be produced at the Moraine facility every year to serve Fuyao’s growing U.S. customer base including GM, Chrysler, Hyundai, Honda and Kia.
“In addition, we’re looking at establishing an R&D facility,” he said through his interpreter.
He doesn’t expect production to begin until next year. When it does, he said it’ll be a three-shift operation.
He said he chose Moraine because of the business environment, skilled labor and site quality. He also had high praise for the following: the governor, Jobs Ohio, Dayton Development Coalition, as well as officials with Montgomery County and the City of Moraine for helping put the deal together.
The chairman said he’s very confident in the success of this plant and specifically chose this day, his birthday, to finalize the deal and celebrate with the community because its future means so much to him.
Fuyao is headquartered in Fuzhou, China and employes nearly 20,000 workers globally. The company has a distribution facility in Michigan and a business office in South Carolina.