KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Supplier factories are multiplying rapidly in suburban Riverside, Mo.
Riverside is a short drive from two major auto assembly plants: General Motors' factory in Fairfax, Kan., and Ford Motor Co.'s operation in Claycomo, Mo. Suppliers are converging here because key vehicles are reinvigorating Kansas City's auto manufacturing.
- The new Ford Transit commercial van began production last year in Claycomo.
- The aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 pickup started production this year in Claycomo.
- The redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu is to begin output in October in Fairfax, while the Malibu's sibling, the next-generation Buick LaCrosse, is due to crank up in the fall of 2016.
Eleven suppliers -- some with contracts for both Ford and GM -- have opened plants in the area since 2013, generating 1,800 jobs and $75 million in new payroll, according to Chris Gutierrez, president of KC SmartPort, an economic development organization that focuses on logistics investments.
Among those suppliers and their products:
- Grupo Antolin, headliners.
- Inergy Automotive Systems, fuel tanks.
- Martinrea International, engine cradles and other steel parts.
- US Farathane, plastic injection-molded parts.
- Yanfeng USA, floor consoles, instrument panels and door panels.
- LMV Automotive Systems, a unit of Magna International Inc., stamped and welded underbody assemblies for the Transit.
Many suppliers received contracts for all vehicles produced in area factories and built plants here to be nearby.