Lear Corp. to Open Automotive Seat Cover Plant in Macedonia
Lear Corporation, the automotive seating and electrical distribution systems maker based out of Southfield, Michigan, has unveiled plans to open a new production plant in Gostivar, Macedonia to produce seat covers for several major European-based auto manufacturers.
The new plant, scheduled to open this summer, will initially employ approximately 300 people.
According to Lear Vice President Jeneanne Hanley, the plant is expected to continue with its expansion plans and to start operations in mid-2016 with an emphasis on leather and fabric cutting, and sewing capabilities.
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Earlier this year, Lear also expanded its profile when it completed the $850 million acquisition of Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Eagle Ottawa, a primary supplier of premium automotive leather. Eagle Ottawa’s customer roster includes many major automakers such as BMW, Chrysler, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Company, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Hyundai and Jaguar Land Rover.
The Eagle Ottawa buy “complements our seating business in addition to increasing our premium leather capabilities. It diversifies our customer mix and enables us to provide significantly customized products,” says Hanley. Furthermore, she adds, the acquisition “provides sales and operating synergies to Lear, and helps to improve the quality of products while simultaneously reducing prices.”
In addition to manufacturing auto seating, which generates about three-fourths of the company’s revenue, Lear also produces auto wire harnesses, junction boxes, terminals, connectors and modules that control numerous vehicle functions such as electric door locks, interior and exterior lights, wipers and security functions.
Lear maintains 235 locations in 34 countries around the globe and employs approximately 132,000 employees.
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