Governor Phil Bredesen and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber joined with executives of SL America to announce a $35 million expansion of SL Tennessee, LLC, a company subsidiary operating in Clinton, Tenn.. The expansion will create 300 new jobs and add an additional 100,000 square feet to the company’s existing facility by the end of 2010. SL Tennessee is an automotive parts supplier for General Motors, Hyundai, KMG and Volkswagen.
“SL Tennessee’s expansion is a testament to the strong business climate we’ve worked hard to create,” said Governor Bredesen. “I want to thank SL Tennessee for the confidence they have shown in Tennessee workers and in our state and I congratulate the company’s leadership on the expansion in Clinton.”
"In Tennessee, we’ve developed a strategy in many business sectors which focuses not just on major ‘anchors’ but on suppliers and customers across the value chain," said Commissioner Kisber. “I’m pleased our efforts, along with the strong partnership between the state, Anderson County and the city of Clinton, have yielded results.”
The current facility, operating in a 164,000 square foot space in the Interstate 75 Industrial Park, builds automotive parts including gear shifters, parking brakes and lighting products. In 2001, SL Tennessee became the first Korean-owned automobile parts manufacturer in the Volunteer State when the Clinton facility opened.
SL America President Y.K. Woo cites an extensive feasibility study conducted in two states as the key to choosing an expansion location.
“SL Tennessee is proud to announce that Clinton has been chosen as the newest site for expansion to help fulfill the global vision of SL Corporation,” said Mr. Woo. “One of the main factors in SL Tennessee’s decision was the support and dedication from the state of Tennessee, the Anderson County Economic Development Association, TVA, the city of Clinton and Anderson County.
“SL Corporation, our parent company, was very familiar with the Clinton area and the fine working relationship with Tim Thompson from ACEDA and Steve Jones from the city of Clinton and various state government officials since starting North American Operations in Clinton nine years ago. We are pleased that through the hard work and dedication of numerous organizations we are able to bring this development to East Tennessee,” said Mr. Woo.
"SL Tennessee’s expansion is great news and another example of strong economic development partners at work with companies to gain and keep quality jobs in our communities,” said John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of economic development.
This expansion announcement comes on the heels of Volkswagen Group’s decision to award SL Tennessee a contract to supply automatic shifter assemblies for Volkswagen’s new midsize sedan slated to begin production in 2011 in Chattanooga. The contract also calls for SL Tennessee to supply VW production in Puebla, Mexico. Both shifters will be manufactured in Tennessee. The award is SL's first contract with the Volkswagen Group as Volkswagen expands its production presence in North America and identifies local supply opportunities.
"SL Tennessee has been an outstanding member of our Anderson County Industrial Community for nearly ten years. They have won several General Motors Global Supplier of the Year awards for the quality of their products,” said Anderson County Mayor Rex Lynch. “This announcement once again shows that Anderson County has the business climate and the available skilled labor force required to be successful in today's tough economic times."
"I'm extremely proud that the City of Clinton has been chosen for the SL Tennessee expansion,” said Clinton Mayor Scott Burton. “This announcement not only reflects the hard work and continuing team effort to create jobs and economic opportunity by our city and our economic development partners, but the dynamic workforce that sets our region apart as well. SL Tennessee has been a great neighbor in our community and we wish them continued success."