US: Chinese company to build plant at former GM site image

Officials announced a Chinese company will build an automotive glass-making plant in southwest Ohio, creating about 800 jobs and revitalizing a former General Motors factory site.

The company is making a $200-million investment at the site in Moraine, near Dayton as the chairman of the Fuyao Glass Industry Group and the owner of the site signed an agreement at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.

Ohio officials said it’s the biggest Chinese investment yet in Ohio. The plant is expected to begin operations late next year, employing about 800 people within three years. The General Motors assembly plant employed 1,100 workers when it closed in late 2008.

Fuyao plans to buy more than 1 million square feet of space in a deal worked out with the state’s private development arm, JobsOhio, with involvement by local and regional development officials. Details of incentives offered the company have not been finalized and were not immediately disclosed. Ohio said other Midwestern states and some in the South also competed for the plant.

Michael Robinet, managing director of IHS Automotive in Southfield, said that Chinese and Indian companies have established other auto-related operations in the United States. But he said the Moraine investment is a major development.

The General Motors plant that produced sport utility vehicles had employed more than 4,000 people before its decline and end while the U.S. auto industry struggled in the last decade.