Plastech Engineered Products Inc., one of the auto industry's largest minority-owned suppliers, is poised to make a major plant investment in Kentucky.
The Dearborn, Mich., company plans to lease an injection molding plant in Louisville, Ky., next June to supply parts to Ford Motor Co.
The supplier plans to spend $24.3 million at the site to pay for land, building and equipment, said Mike Bosc, a spokesman for the Greater Louisville Chamber of Commerce.
The plant will produce interior trim parts for the Ford Explorer produced at Ford's Kentucky Truck plant near Louisville.
Plastech will spend $12 million to install 27 injection presses for the work, according to the chamber of commerce. The company plans to hire 200 people when the plant opens and eventually boost employment to 272, the chamber said.
Two Plastech officials involved in the project did not return telephone calls requesting comment.
The plant is the 17th for the rapidly growing supplier, which makes interior and exterior trim. The company, which also stamps metal parts, recorded more than $400 million in sales last year, according to a company statement.
The minority-owned company is owned by Julie N. Brown, a Vietnamese immigrant and former Ford engineer.
Brown formed Plastech in 1988 after buying Caro Plastics Corp. of Caro, Mich. In 1997, the company virtually doubled its size overnight to more than $300 million after buying United Screw & Bolt Corp., the parent company of Bryan Custom Plastics, of Bryan, Ohio.
That purchase brought Plastech eight plants, most in the upper Midwest. The Louisville factory will conduct inline vehicle sequencing to ship parts to the Ford plant.
The company plans to invest $10.8 million in the building and surrounding land, on 14 acres in the AirPark Commerce Center, and another $1.5 million in startup costs, according to the report.
Plastech has received preliminary approval for more than $4 million in tax credits over 10 years from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, Bosc said.
'It will help offset the leasing costs and can be used to help the company expand,' he said.
The privately held company ranked 19th on Plastics News' ranking of North American injection molders, with an estimated $235 mil-lion in injection molding sales last year. is a sister publication to Automotive News.