Global auto supplier Hilite International expanding in Whitehall

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Expansion will create 108 jobs, generate $9.6 million in private investment in West Michigan

Photo courtesy of Hilite


LANSING, Mich. – Hilite International, a global provider of components and systems for the automotive industry, is expanding its operations in Whitehall with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today.

The project is expected to generate a total private investment of $9.6 million and create 108 new jobs by 2022. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Texas.

“Hilite’s expansion in Whitehall strengthens the company’s presence in West Michigan and brings good jobs for area residents,” said MEDC Chief Business Development Officer and Executive Vice President Josh Hundt. “This is another signal that economic recovery efforts are having an impact and we look forward to working with the company as it continues to grow in Michigan.”

Hilite International is a global supplier focused on the development and production of components and systems aimed at reducing fuel consumption and exhaust gases, and on future technologies such as e-mobility and thermal management. Hilite is a leading company in the field of variable valve timing and transmission valves. The company has been operating at its Whitehall facility since 1989 and its customers include FCA, GM, Daimler and Allison.

Hilite is consolidating operations and plans to update its Whitehall operations, including renovation and reconfiguration of the facility to accommodate new office spaces, labs and conference rooms. The current office will be renovated to house a sediment testing laboratory and a new quality lab.

To secure the expansion in Michigan, Hilite has been awarded a $400,000 Jobs Ready Michigan performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Carrollton, Texas. The project aligns with MEDC’s strategic focus of supporting and growing businesses in the automotive industry and securing the state’s leadership in engineering, design and development. The company also provides an intensive training and development program called Hilite University that allows employees to earn credit hours toward their goals. A majority of the jobs created as a result of this project will be entry-level positions, bringing new opportunities to area residents and offering a path to higher-wage jobs.

“Hilite International would like to express its gratitude to the City of Whitehall for their past and present support of our organization,” said Hilite Senior Director of North American Finance and Controlling Chad Whitton. “We would also like to recognize and express our gratitude for Consumers Energy’s, Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s and Muskegon Area First’s partnership and support of this project.”

The Jobs Ready Michigan Program is designed to provide grants for business expansion and location projects that lead to job creation and investments in Michigan that have a demonstrated training need, particularly in pursuing new opportunities for high-tech, high-demand, and high-wage jobs.

“The city and the local Development Finance Authority are excited about the facility expansion planned by HiLite International and honored that they chose Whitehall. Their significant investment and substantial creation of jobs as we re-engage Michigan’s economy is a very welcomed relief to the economic crisis brought on during what will certainly be one of the most challenging years most of us will experience,” said Whitehall Mayor Debi Hillebrand. “Whitehall is proud to have offered assistance in the selection process to further strengthen our relationship with HiLite which began over 30 years ago as the City’s first industrial park resident.”

In addition to MSF support, the city of Whitehall will sell the company an adjacent 19.3-acre parcel of land necessary to accommodate the expansion for $1 and is supportive of a P.A. 198 property tax abatement. Consumers Energy is supporting the project with in-kind staff assistance valued at $40,000. Individuals interested in careers with Hilite should visit

“Muskegon Area First is pleased that Hilite International continues to expand in Muskegon County,” said Muskegon Area First CEO Jim Edmonson. “It is a pleasure to work with company leadership and the city of Whitehall as they build a great community partnership.”

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.