Automotive component supplier will add 61 jobs, invest $45 million in Rowan

Published 2:27 pm Thursday, August 20, 2020

SALISBURY — Continental Structural Plastics, a manufacturer of automotive and heavy truck composite components, will invest $45 million and add 61 jobs in the next two years to its Rowan County facility, the governor’s office and Rowan Economic Development Commission announced Thursday.

The company, based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, is a tier-one supplier for the automotive, heavy truck, HVAC and construction industries. It has more than 4,300 employees worldwide. At its facility on Statesville Boulevard, outside of the Salisbury city limits, it will add 50,000 square feet and a new paint and prime line, which is expected to speed up production as well as accommodate larger products.

Continental Structural Plastics was considering expanding several other existing sites, including locations in Ohio and Louisiana, but ultimately chose the facility in Salisbury. This is not the first time that the company has expanded operations in Rowan County.

“To us, when they do an expansion and then come back and expand again, that’s a good sign that prior expansions went well in this community,” Rowan County Commissioner Greg Edds said. “We were competing with a couple of other existing facilities. For them to come back to us with another expansion says a lot about Rowan County.”

The Rowan County Economic Development Commission has been working with CSP on its expansion for some time.

“We’ve been working with them for several months and I think part of it was waiting for the market conditions to be right for them to go ahead with expansion,” said Rod Crider, the president and CEO of the EDC. “They have been growing.”

The project name for the expansion when the tax incentive was considered by the Rowan County Board of Commissioners was “project sun.” Rowan County’s approved incentive agreement will collect $306,560 in new tax revenue during the incentive term and provide incentive grants totaling $919,678, which are provided as reimbursements of taxes paid.

The EDC works to maintain and support companies in Rowan County while also recruiting new companies. When an existing company like CSP decides to expand inside the county, Crider is pleased.

“There’s really nothing more satisfying for us than to have an existing company that wants to continue to grow and expand their operation in our community,” Crider said. “What that says to us is we’re a competitive location.”

The governor’s office said the payroll impact of the expansion will be $2 million.

“Our expansion at the Salisbury facility will enhance our ability to support programs for our heavy truck customers,” said Steve Rooney, CEO, Continental Structural Plastics. “We have a solid, talented workforce in North Carolina, and are thankful for the support from the State of North Carolina to continue our growth here.”

In a news release, Gov. Roy Cooper said the state’s manufacturing base continues to grow even during a pandemic.

“North Carolina is producing jobs and attracting companies who need our resilient, productive workforce,” Cooper said.

Companies that operate in the state and expand at existing facilities provide the strongest endorsements for the state, said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland.

“Nothing speaks like experience, and CSP’s decision speaks volumes when it comes to North Carolina’s reputation as a business location,” Copeland said in a news release.

The company received a tax incentive grant from Rowan County. A performance-based grant of $100,000 from the One North Carolina Fund also will help facilitate Continental Structural Plastics’ expansion in Rowan County. The OneNC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All OneNC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.

Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina on this project were the North Carolina Community College System, Rowan County and the Rowan EDC.

“This is a good day for Rowan County,” Edds said. “Rowan has a lot of these automotive type businesses. It’s a trucking hub. This is another good company that’s in that area of manufacturing that we continue to see expand.”