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BATTLE CREEK, MI-Auto supplier II Stanley Co. Inc., a member of the Japan-based Stanley Electronic Co., said it plans to invest $31.6 million to expand its operations in Battle Creek during the next two years.

II Stanley, a manufacturer of advanced lighting and electronic products for the automotive industry, will construct a 100,000-sf addition, including a 60,000-sf “clean room” electronics production facility. “This expansion will support our goal of achieving world-class quality in our product and improve our lean manufacturing practices,” II Stanley executive vice president Rich Zygadlo said in a statement. “Our workforce has the ability to compete against any workforce in the world, but management needs to provide them with the tools to do so. This expansion is a vote of confidence in the capabilities of our people.”

The announcement is the latest in a string of several projects announced after Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s recent trade trip to Japan, in which she met with top auto executives there. She recently met with Noriaki Ito, president and COO of the company.

An incentive package valued at $4.2 million offered by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the City of Battle Creek convinced the company to expand in Michigan rather than a competing site in Tennessee. II Stanley has had a plant in Battle Creek since 1958. The company also has a sales and design office in Farmington Hills.

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