KANSAS CITY- In yet another sign that the automotive industry has revived, the Kansas City Area Development Council has announced that Yanfeng USA Automotive Trim Systems has decided to locate a new manufacturing plant in Riverside Horizons, a 260-acre industrial park in suburban Riverside. Bouma Construction of Grand Rapids, Michigan will begin constructing the $45 million, 258,000-square-foot plant this month and finish by early 2014.
“This is just a reflection of how integrated the world economy is today,” says Bob Marcusse, president and CEO of the development council. Yanfeng USA is a subsidiary of Yanfeng Visteon of China, itself a partnership between Michigan-based Visteon and other Chinese companies. Historically, Visteon was a supplier to the Ford Motor Company, but it was spun off, later declared bankruptcy, and then restructured. This new plant will manufacture interior trim components for General Motors‘ assembly plants in Kansas City, Kansas, and Wentzville, Missouri.
“Ten years ago, something like this was a rarity,” Marcusse adds. “But now we have a much greater capacity in this community to handle international product flows.” He points to the BNSF Railway Company‘s new intermodal facility, set to open later this year, as the best example of the metro area’s new ability to draw in companies like Yanfeng. The Kansas City Business Journal reported late last year that the “440-acre, $250 million project will have six 8,000-foot strip railroad tracks with five cranes capable of loading and unloading more than half a million container and trailer units a year.”
The region has seen “significant job creation from automotive industry suppliers due to the massive reinvestment from our local auto manufacturers including Ford and GM,” Marcusse says. “Investment from Yanfeng USA offers further evidence that our region can compete in a global marketplace as a formidable business and lifestyle destination.”
“Missouri offers Yanfeng USA an excellent business climate from which to serve our automotive customers, and we are excited to join the state’s strong community of automotive companies,” says David Wang, president of Yanfeng USA. “We appreciate the support and assistance from the state of Missouri, the Kansas City region, and the City of Riverside throughout our year-long process of selecting a new location for this facility.”