Ford, Toyota business prompts Flex-N-Gate plant expansion in Ill.

CEO Shahid Khan

Automotive supplier Flex-N-Gate Corp. is doubling the size of its plastics parts plant in Danville, Ill.

The 60,000-square-foot operation will expand to nearly 120,000 square feet, Flex-N-Gate Director of Energy Mellissa Kendall, confirmed in a Sept. 4 email. Construction on the estimated $20 million project will begin this fall and is slated for completion in 2019, Kendall said.

"The new plant will be manufacturing upper and lower grilles for Ford and Toyota," she said.

The investment also includes the purchase of additional equipment, such as injection molding machines, and the creation of 100 new full-time jobs. The Danville plant currently employs 118.

New positions will include plastics and assembly operators, maintenance mechanics, material handlers, mold and plastics processors, among others, Kendall said.

The company will receive a $1.2 million tax credit toward its tax liability from the Illinois Edge program, which provides tax credits to businesses that relocate or expand operations and create jobs in the state.

Flex-N-Gate, a supplier of bumpers, exterior trim, lighting and chassis assemblies, among other auto products, had considered relocating work for the new programs to Veedersburg, Ind., where the company has an existing facility housing its Masterguard LLC division.

The Danville project marks the second expansion this summer for the auto parts giant. In June, Plastics News reported that Flex-N-Gate was spending more than $175 million to expand into a 430,188-square-foot facility in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Flex-N-Gate ranks No. 33 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $7.55 billion in 2017. The company is owned by billionaire Shahid Khan, who also owns the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars in Florida. 

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