Flex-N-Gate Troy is located at 1400 Rochester Road.

Flex-N-Gate Troy is located at 1400 Rochester Road.

Photo by Jonathan Shead

Tier 1 auto supplier moves into old AxleTech building

Company invests $52.1 million in new Troy location

By: Jonathan Shead | Troy Times | Published July 28, 2021


TROY — A tier one global auto supplier, Flex-N-Gate Group, has inked a deal to establish a new manufacturing facility in Troy.

The new facility brings in a $52.1 million private investment from the company and is expected to add 245 new jobs.

The auto supplier’s new manufacturing facility will take over the former AxleTech property at 1400 Rochester Road.

“Good paying jobs and housing that is attainable for our workforce remain critical drivers of economic opportunity as we jumpstart Michigan’s economy,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a press release announcing the project in June. “The expansion of Flex-N-Gate Troy means an additional 245 new jobs in Southeast Michigan and continues our leadership in advanced automotive manufacturing and mobility.”

The state’s support for the company is part of the reason it has continued to develop in Michigan, Flex-N-Gate Executive Vice President of Metals and Procurement Bill Beistline said in a statement.

“We are thrilled to once again be expanding Flex-N-Gate’s footprint in Michigan with our new manufacturing operation located in Troy. Flex-N-Gate truly appreciates the support that the city and state have shown regarding this project,” he said. “The State of Michigan has been consistent in its support of all Flex-N-Gate growth plans, and it is this consistency which keeps us coming back to Michigan.”

A Flex-N-Gate representative could not be reached for additional comment by press time.

Flex-N-Gate also has facilities in Royal Oak, Detroit, Shelby Township and Battle Creek, and two in Warren. Flex-N-Gate Troy LLC was created in 2019.

The Urbana, Illinois-headquartered company manufactures and delivers a variety of interior and exterior plastics, structural metals, vehicle lighting equipment, mechanical assembly automotive systems, and other automotive components across the globe. The Troy location will create and supply sequenced plastic fascias and welded underbody rear rails.

Troy Economic Development Specialist Glenn Lapin expressed excitement over having Flex-N-Gate choose Troy for its new manufacturing location. The city was in competition with others, but Lapin believes Troy was the best fit.

“It’s a great location. It’s close to a lot of the supplier networks these companies rely on, so we’re near the big auto manufacturers and near all the suppliers. We’re a real central location in terms of that,” he said. “It’s also very convenient for the employees that work there. The employees come from all over the region, and Troy is extremely accessible in that realm. We’re known as a very friendly city to businesses.”

The new facility also strikes a change of pace for Troy’s automotive industry, Lapin explained. “A lot of our automotive companies here in Troy, a lot of it is really focused on the technology side. All the tech that goes into automobiles, whether it’s installation panels or other computerized components, a lot of the research and technology is done here in Troy,” he said.

“We don’t see the heavy-duty auto plants ... here. It’s more of the technology side, but Flex-N-Gate is a terrific state-of-the-art company, and we’re thrilled they’re here.”

Aside from state support, some financial assistance was afforded to the company as well, given the location of the move. The city transferred a tax abatement previously held by AxleTech to Flex-N-Gate Troy because the life of the abatement had only about two years remaining, Lapin said. The company will save $155,000 through the remainder of the abatement.

While Flex-N-Gate’s new location in southeast Michigan advances the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s goals to preserve and grow the state’s automotive and advanced manufacturing industries, Lapin also believes the new facility will provide a nice lift in Troy businesses’ recovery after the pandemic.

“Whenever you add 245 jobs to a community, you have 245 more people that are patronizing the restaurants and retail stores. That’s a huge boost, particularly coming out of the pandemic.”

For more information or to apply at Flex-N-Gate, visit flex-n-gate.com.