COOKEVILLE – Ficosa North America officials announced Thursday that construction is complete on their new 264,750-square-foot facility in the Highlands Business Park in Cookeville – nearly two months ahead of schedule – and equipment installation has begun.
The project, which is being developed by Clinton-based Hollingsworth Companies, will help Ficosa expand its Tennessee presence.
Ficosa produces mirror assemblies for Nissan, Ford, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors and other auto manufacturers. The new facility will increase production capacity and allow components currently made in China and Mexico to be made in the Volunteer State.
“This is a strategic move that will allow the consolidation of key operations and enable further future growth,” Ficosa’s Global Chief Executive Javier Pujol said. “This new state of the art facility will not only allow us to better serve our customers but also provide a better and more secure future for our Tennessee employees.”
Hollingsworth Companies, the company said in a release, worked closely with the Ficosa team to design, permit and build the state-of-the-art injection molding/die-casting/finishing facility. The project achieves a new level of manufacturing efficiency by bringing five separate operations under one roof with significantly improved material and process flows. A new robotic painting operation is particularly impressive, officials said, and improves worker health and safety and finished product consistency.
“This was a great team effort from top to bottom with the Ficosa team,” Tom Wortham, SVP of architecture and development at the Hollingsworth Companies, said. “Ficosa has recently built new factories in Poland and China, but the Cookeville facility took the ‘best of breed’ from all of their locations and encouraged (us) to bring solutions to the table as well. All through the project we continued to work closely together and were able to deliver the project ahead of schedule by more than 60 days.”
The automotive supplier will invest $58 million in the tier-1 automotive facility, while creating 550 new jobs and relocating an additional 450 jobs from its current Crossville location. It held hiring events in conjunction with Wise Staffing, Manpower and the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) last month.
Ficosa has said it expects the plant to be fully operational by the end of 2016.
The company is the first to locate in the new Highlands Business Park. The project was the result of a cooperative effort between Ficosa, Hollingsworth, the state of Tennessee, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Cookeville and Putnam County.