Magneti Marelli Inaugurates a new U.S. Automotive Lighting Plant in Pulaski, Tenn.

Jun 17, 2013, 10:17 ET from Magneti Marelli

PULASKI, Tennessee, June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

A new Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting plant for the production of headlamps and rear lights was inaugurated yesterday in Pulaski, Tenn. This is the first lighting production plant in the United States, further strengthening an already established presence in the NAFTA region, which includes plants in Ciudad Juárez and Tepotzotlán, Mexico, and the R&D Center in Auburn Hills, Mich., with 180 engineers.

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Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat S.p.A and Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group LLC, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, Congressman Marsha Blackburn, Pulaski Mayor Patrick Ford, and the heads of Magneti Marelli, Eugenio Razelli, CEO of Magneti Marelli, James Rosseau, Country Manager for Magneti Marelli North America and Stephane Vedie, CEO for Automotive Lighting North America, attended the inauguration ceremony.

The new production unit was built with an investment of approximately $54 million. The plant currently employs 90 people but Magneti Marelli anticipates that number to reach to approximately 850 employees within the next four years.

"Today is particularly significant because it marks the successful completion of an ambitious project, as well as a new beginning and a new life for this plant," said Marchionne during the inauguration celebration. "What has been achieved here demonstrates the strong commitment and sense of purpose of everyone involved to create value for the future, and to generate growth and prosperity for this area."

"The inauguration of the new plant in Pulaski shows the intention of Magneti Marelli to respond quickly to the growth of this market, while at the same time guaranteeing quality, a technological level of excellence and the satisfaction of our key customers, in a context that is rich in opportunity yet at the same time highly challenging," said Magneti Marelli CEO Eugenio Razelli.  "The expansion of our footprint in the NAFTA region further equips us to respond appropriately and adequately to these challenges in an area that is vital for the growth of Lighting and Magneti Marelli as a whole."

"I want to congratulate Magneti Marelli for the opening of its new facility and its continued investment in Tennessee," Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said. "Magneti Marelli chose the Pulaski plant as its first Automotive Lighting facility in the U.S., and I want to thank them for helping bring us another step closer to achieving our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs."

The Government of Tennessee supported Magneti Marelli, granting a package of investment incentives. This aspect, along with the proximity to key customers and the ability to build on an industrial presence already active in the business area of shock absorbers, played an important part in the choice of Pulaski as the location for its new automotive lighting plant.

Currently, the industrial area dedicated to lighting covers approximately 161,500 sq. ft. (15,000 sq. m), which will be further extended to just over 213,000 sq. ft. (20,000 sq. m) in 2014. The plant has a production capacity of 2.5 million lighting units a year, which will gradually increase to 5 million in 2016.

The new site has already won orders from Chrysler Group, Mercedes and GM. The first headlights will be produced for Chrysler Group's all-new 2014  Jeep® Cherokee, which mounts halogen, bi-Xenon and LED Day Time Running Light headlamps.

The Pulaski plant will apply cutting edge technology, according to the standards of Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting, employing the best of halogen, Xenon and LED lighting solutions, in addition to adaptive and smart lighting systems.

Automotive Lighting represents one of the main areas of Magneti Marelli's business footprint,  covering approximately 35% of Magneti Marelli's total turnover of 5.8 billion euros (over 7,4 billion $) , producing approximately 22 million headlamps and 22 million rear lights annually,  as well as being in the top 3 of the leading players at the global level in the lighting sector. Automotive Lighting maintains a global presence, with twenty-three facilities in fifteen countries.  

Magneti Marelli has been operating in the NAFTA region since 1976 with a number of industrial plants and with a strategic partnership with Mopar for the distribution of all-makes components in the North American aftermarket.  

Magneti Marelli operations in North America include Powertrain, Electronic Systems, Lighting, Exhaust and Suspension Systems, at locations in Auburn Hills, Mich., Sanford, N.C., Pulaski, Tenn., El Paso, Texas in the USA and Juarez, Saltillo and Tepotzotlán in Mexico.

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SOURCE Magneti Marelli