published Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Lease set for site in Dunlap

AT A GLANCE


Name: Mann+Hummel

Founded: Ludwigsburg, German, 1941

U.S. headquarters: Portage Mich.

Employees: 13,200 globally

Locations: 41 worldwide

Sales: $2.8 billion (2010)

Net Income: $129 million (2010)

Source: Mann+Hummel

Mann+Hummel USA, the new automotive parts maker coming to Dunlap, Tenn., will likely sign a lease in the next few days for the former Seymour Tubing property on the north end of Dunlap, according to the town’s mayor, Dwain Land.

“We have a tentative date to sign the lease in about a week,” an exuberant Land said Friday. The lease term is expected to be about 10 years, he said.

The Industrial Development Board of Dunlap approved the lease agreement with Mann+Hummel in November and plans to issue $3.1 million in bonds to fund the development board’s purchase of the old Seymour Tubing property. The board will lease the 170,000-square-foot facility to Mann+Hummel, which is expected to create 150 jobs.

Land praised joint efforts by government officials in recruiting the company.

“I’ve never seen a county and city work so well together,” he said.

Seymour closed in the summer of 2009, placing the blame on the decline of the auto industry. Operations at the Dunlap plant, which produced automotive tubing and other auto-related parts, were moved to Indiana.

The $25 million plant was built in 2000. Its shutdown two years ago idled 86 workers, and came on the heels of the shutdown of Dunlap’s other large employer, Tucumseh Power, which closed a few months earlier.

Mann+Hummel, which will produce air intake manifolds and air cleaner systems in Dunlap, will have to do retrofitting and refurbishing at the former Seymour plant to get it ready for the new company’s operation, said David Gordon, Mann+Hummel’s strategic planning officer.

Gordon said Friday that bids for the work could go out as soon as January.

“We feel everything’s on track and we’re moving forward,” he said.

Mann+Hummel already delivers some of its products to Volkswagen in Chattanooga, as well as Nissan in Decherd and GM in Spring Hill, Gordon said. VW is Mann+Hummel’s largest customer worldwide.

“It’s clear why that will be a strategic location for us,” he said.

Dunlap-based Citizens Tri-County Bank provided financing for the development board’s purchase of the industrial property Mann+Hummel will call home, according to CEO and President Glen Barker.

“If we can create 100 jobs it’ll be a big deal for the county,” Barker said. “It gets us to think positive again. Positive thinking solves a lot of problems.”

Land said Mann+Hummel will sponsor a career day and job fair at the National Guard Armory in Dunlap from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT on Dec. 15.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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coffee said...

That is great news though my thought are they going to employee residents from Dunlap or bring them from out of state? Did the County tell them to keep the wages down like they told Walmart due to Tukumse? Hiring 150 employees would be great if they are from the area, but from out of town would mean not spending here. From previous experience from Volkswagon and thier suppliers we were told that they would hire from here instead we have out of the country and out of the state employees. What about the layoffs at Volkswagon? These are concerns of the people of Sequatchie County and Tennessee. When county officials tell them to pay min. wages then we have a big unethical issue.......think about that!

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December 3, 2011 at 9:16 a.m.
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