©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Auto Supplier Flex-N-Gate to Expand in Evart

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Michael Shore, MEDC
(517) 335-4590

Company to Acquire Collins & Aikman Facility, Retain 1,138 Jobs

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that Ventra Evart LLC, a member of the Flex-N-Gate Group of companies, has entered into an agreement to acquire the Collins & Aikman plant in Evart, which on closing would retain roughly 1,138 jobs, including about 480 directly at the Evart plant. If the closing proceeds as planned, the buyer expects to invest approximately $3 million to purchase equipment for the facility. Assistance offered through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation helped the global automotive supply group choose Michigan over competing sites in Ontario, Kentucky and Indiana. 

"Flex-N-Gate's investment in Evart helps further cement Michigan's title of auto capital of the world while preserving critical jobs for the Evart community," Granholm said. "Even as we are working to diversify Michigan's economy, our world class workforce and business friendly climate are continuing to attract and retain manufacturing jobs and investment throughout the state." 

Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority Board today approved a state tax credit valued at more than $3.8 million over seven years to win the company's investment. The city of Evart is prepared to support a 12-year tax abatement worth at least $9,600 to attract the project. 

"This is a two-fold win for Evart and Michigan," MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said. "By partnering with the city of Evart, we convinced the company to reinvest in the facility to retain good manufacturing jobs and keep the operation in the community for future generations of workers." 

An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates that increased economic activity created by Flex-N-Gate's expansion will retain an additional 658 indirect Michigan jobs, in addition to the 480 directly retained by the company. 

The Flex-N-Gate investment has the potential to generate more than $343 million in personal income for Michigan workers over the life of the tax credit. 

Flex-N-Gate is a growing, international and privately-held group of companies with numerous manufacturing operations in several countries. Flex-N-Gate companies have an enviable reputation in the automotive plastics and metal forming industries and have vehicle content on virtually all major automotive nameplates. 

The Flex-N-Gate Group employs more than 12,000 people at 45 facilities throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and Spain. Principal product lines include chassis structural assemblies, bumper and fascia systems, brackets, hinges and latch systems. Flex-N-Gate already operates six facilities in Michigan employing more than 1,000 workers. Visit the web site at www.flexngate.com.

Among other conditions, the completion of the Evart plant purchase requires that the United States Bankruptcy Court approve the purchase and if it does, the closing date would be set for a date to be determined. 

"The city is excited to welcome Flex-n-Gate as the new plant owner," Evart City Manager Roger Elkins said. "This action end months of speculation on what might happen. We look forward to working with a new owner." 

The project is one of six economic development projects the governor announced today. In all, they are expected to create and retain a total of 5,420 Michigan jobs. 

In her 2007 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of making Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Since January 2005, the Governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 188,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC. 

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. For more information on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.michiganbusiness.org.

 

Flex-N-Gate Group (Ventra Evart LLC)
(All estimates in 2007 dollars)

TOTAL JOBS CREATED 

1,138 

 Direct

480

 Indirect

658

NET POSITIVE STATE REVENUE IMPACT 

$20,970,000 

 Revenue Foregone

$3,808,000

 Revenue Gain

$24,778,000

 Average Weekly Wage

$571

Personal Income Generated Over 10-Yr Tax Credit Agreement

$343,237,000

# # #