Cardone Industries — Harlingen, Texas

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During remanufacturing, durable original components are recycled while worn parts are rebuilt or replaced. In other words, remanufacturing brings new life to old components. Perhaps the most familiar type of remanufacturing applies to automobile parts. But could a type of remanufacturing apply to industrial sites? Recent events in Harlingen, Texas suggest that it can.

In Harlingen, Cardone Industries, a global supplier of automotive products, purchased a building once occupied by Fruit of the Loom. The company started operations with 100 employees and began retrofitting the 680,000 square-foot building. Cardone projects a workforce of 500 and an annual payroll of over $7 million within five years. Cardone’s 500 jobs will account for 25 percent of manufacturing jobs in the city.

Cardone focuses on selling remanufactured brakes, drive trains, electronics, motors (for windows and wipers), pumps, and steering components. It also makes and sells all-new parts.

The American automotive aftermarket tends to be insulated from economic downturns. And, with the sector’s emphasis on recycling, efficiency, and conservation, strong growth is anticipated. About half of the durable parts in an automobile can be recycled. “When people think about the automotive industry, they tend to focus on the big automakers and forget just how big the automotive aftermarket really is,” said Marie McDermott, president of the Harlingen Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber representatives facilitated negotiations between Cardone and local authorities, which included members of the Harlingen Development Corporation Board and City Commissioners. The negotiations were fruitful, leading to an incentives package that included tax abatements and training programs.

“Cardone fits in perfectly with Harlingen’s long-term development plans since it is locating on the 509 corridor with fast access to the Free Trade International Bridge,” said Ana Borchardt, economic development director at the Harlingen Chamber. Cardone is expected to pursue future market opportunities in Latin America, and the Harlingen location is considered a key to developing that sector.

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