Heartland expanding plant at Lafayette by 220 jobs

Saturday, September 28, 2013

LAFAYETTE -- Heartland Automotive, a subsidiary of Japan-based Shigeru Co. Ltd., has announced plans to expand its Lafayette manufacturing center and create more than 220 jobs by 2016.

Heartland, a manufacturer of interior and exterior automotive parts that began its American presence in Greencastle in 1987, will construct and equip a new facility on its 27-acre site in Lafayette.

The facility, expected to be operational by spring 2016, will allow Heartland to meet growing product demand from Subaru of Indiana Automotive's nearby manufacturing plant.

"With a partnership from our customers and the local community, Indiana is providing the perfect environment for strong business growth," Heartland Senior Vice President Ronan Miot said.

"The market for selling cars in the United States is solid and our proximity to our customers and suppliers in Indiana is ideal," he added. "When you also consider the competitiveness, strong workforce and very supportive state and local governments, expanding in Indiana was the obvious choice."

Heartland currently employs 500 full-time associates in Greencastle and another 90 in Lafayette. It will begin hiring manufacturing, engineering and managerial positions in the upcoming months.

"Optimism was a key theme from my meeting with the leadership of Heartland's parent company in Japan," Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said.

"Recurring investment from Japan's automotive industry continues to grow the Hoosier economy," Pence added. "With Subaru's expansive growth, we're excited to see this domino effect from Heartland and the company's continued choice of Indiana as its American home."

As an incentive, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Heartland Automotive up to $340,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on job-creation plans. In addition, the city of Lafayette will consider additional property tax abatement.

Founded in 1987, Heartland supplies automotive manufacturers with plastic molded, painted and assembled parts.

Between its Indiana locations in Greencastle and Lafayette, it currently supplies parts for the Toyota Camry, the Subaru Outback and Legacy.

Heartland-produced products include instrument panels and doors, consoles, pillars, headliners, aprons, rear gates and exterior cladding.

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