By Rhoda Miel, Plastics News Staff
Saline, Michigan -- Automotive Components Holdings llc plans to spend $32 million on new equipment for its Saline plant this year to boost production of a spray urethane skin used on interior trim panels.
The company - a wholly owned subsidiary of Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford Motor Co. - also has steadily boosted employment and is now up to 2000 workers in Saline from 1600 less than two years ago.
ACH has applied to the state of Michigan for a brownfield redevelopment tax credit to help finance the work, said spokeswoman Della DiPietro in a 15 April telephone interview. The Saline plant was initially part of a spinoff of Ford parts plants into Visteon Corp. in 2000, but Ford later took it back under the ACH umbrella as part of a plan to sell it.
Even as earlier planned sales fell through, Ford has continued to invest in the site - with $120 million in new equipment and improvements between 2005 and 2009 - and made it a key supplier.
The Saline plant makes the spray urethane skin on door panels for the 2010 Taurus, which Ford designed to mimic hand-sewn leather. The new equipment now set for the site will allow the company to add another production line for the skin and expand production both for the Taurus and other future vehicles, DiPietro said.