Flush with new business from Johnson Controls Inc., Plastech Engineered Products Inc. wants to build an $11 million plant in Caro, Mich.
Plastech, a Dearborn, Mich., injection molder, already has one plant in Caro that employs 100. The new site would employ about 150. The rural community is about 100 miles north of Detroit.
Plastech officials did not return calls requesting comment, but said late last year they were anticipating extensive growth related to its agreement with Johnson Controls to oversee production of outsourced interior trim parts. The deal could double Plastech's annual sales.
"Plastech's agreement with Johnson Controls is a strategically significant opportunity that will increase the company's revenues and profitability, enable production efficiencies and diversify our customer base," COO Jim Brown said.
Venture capital company American Capital Strategies Ltd. of Bethesda, Md., invested $30 million in Plastech in November to help finance growth.
"We are investing in a leading company in its niche with experienced managers who have a demonstrated track record of growth and profitability due to their efficient and well-run operations,"American Capital COO Ira Wagner said.
In 1997 Plastech had estimated sales of $300 million and seven plants. It now has 14 plants and estimated annual sales of about $600 million.
Its agreement with Johnson Controls, which has automotive division offices in Plymouth, Mich., ensures Plastech growth by making it one of a reduced number of sub-suppliers delivering to Tier 1 specialists.
With ownership under CEO Julie Nguyen Brown, a Vietnamese immigrant, the company also is a certified minority supplier, which can help win contracts from automakers that are anxious to diversify their purchasing.
Johnson Controls is focusing on growth by becoming a total interior integrator for automakers.
The company's strategy is to partner with companies that can oversee manufacturing chunks of those interiors.
Rhoda Miel is a staff reporter for Plastics News, a sister publication of Automotive News.