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August 6, 2012

Faurecia opens second plant in Fraser

By Nico Rubello
C & G Staff Writer

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, right, and Faurecia plant manager Damien Duclair raise bthe U.S. and Michigan flags over the auto parts manufacturer’s newest Fraser plant on Masonic.

FRASER — Gov. Rick Snyder and Macomb County dignitaries gathered in Fraser on Aug. 2 to laud the opening of Faurecia Interior Systems’ second plant within the city.

The automotive parts manufacturer’s new facility on Masonic, east of Utica, is located just down the tracks from its sister plant on 14 Mile Road. Over the last few months, the Masonic plant has been ramping up production.

“Michigan is the comeback state of the United States today,” Snyder said. “You’ve got the city of Fraser, you’ve got Macomb County that really have that partnership attitude.”

The event included speeches in an air-conditioned tent outside the plant. Afterward, the governor and County Executive Mark Hackel joined Faurecia executives in hoisting the American, Michigan and Faurecia flags in front of the new plant’s entrance.

The crowd included Faurecia and automotive company executives, Masonic plant workers and a bipartisan group of state, county and city officials.

According to Faurecia, 106 salaried and hourly workers are employed for the plant’s three shifts.

The international, Tier I automotive parts supplier leased the property in January. Before that, the building sat vacant for 18 months after the closing of Cadence Innovation, a plastics manufacturer.

Now in full production, Faurecia’s Masonic plant makes automotive components for the interiors of Cadillac and Detroit’s Big Three cars. This includes manufacturing parts for the instrumental panels of the soon-to-be-released 2013 Cadillac ATS, the door panels and center console of the Ford Focus, and other interior components for Chrysler and General Motors cars.

“We were doing so well at our initial Michigan plant in Fraser that Faurecia family had to add another room to this house,” said Mike Heneka, president of Faurecia North America.

State Rep. Marilyn Lane, D-Fraser, also spoke at the event, praising the 800 Michigan jobs the company added this year. Lane said Faurecia has immersed itself in the community, partnering with the city and lending to Fraser charity and community efforts.

Other Republican and Democratic state lawmakers from Macomb County also were attendance.

Fraser’s first Faurecia plant, a site located at 14 Mile and Groesbeck, was opened in 2006.

“It’s just very exciting for Fraser,” Fraser Mayor Doug Hagerty said afterward. He credited Fraser Public Works with helping do a last-minute clean-up of the 14 Mile site that ultimately sealed the deal with Faurecia in the first place. “If Fraser wouldn’t have stepped up (to attract the first Faurecia plant in 2005), this wouldn’t have happened.”

All told, Faurecia employs about 84,000 people at 270 manufacturing sites and 40 research-and-development centers in 33 countries. The company is the sixth-largest automotive equipment supplier in the world.

In Michigan, Faurecia has centers in Troy, Southfield, Holland and Auburn Hills.

Snyder said part of the state’s job is to focus on creating talent and connecting it with the private sector.

“There are skilled jobs, but you don’t necessarily need an advanced degree for a lot of these jobs. It’s getting the right specialized training,” he said.

 

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Nico Rubello at nrubello@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1118.