On Friday, Ohio Governor John Kasich, along with Jobs Ohio managing director Kristi Tanner and Fuyao chairman Cao Dewang, announced that the Chinese auto parts maker plans to purchase about one million square feet of the old General Motors plant in Moraine, Ohio. The new plant is expected to bring about 800 new jobs to the area, and comes after more than three years of diligent work by the state officials, Jobs Ohio, and other interested parties. The only thing lacking before the agreement is signed seems to be a due diligence report by the company into the plant. Governor Kasich offered high praise for chairman Dewang during the announcement on January 10 in Columbus, Ohio. Kasich said that Dewang is one of the most generous individuals and successful entrepreneurs in China. Dewang received the Earnest and Young 2009 World Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and has been awarded China’s Most Generous Philanthropist by the Hurun Report four separate times.
Among the 800 jobs the plant could bring to the Moraine area include production positions, managers, engineers, quality control professionals, forklift operators, and workers in maintenance and repairs. No word has been released regarding when hiring at the plant might begin or how much wages are expected to be. The property is currently owned by Industry Realty Group, headed by Stu Lichter. If the deal goes through, a signing ceremony is expected.
If the deal proceeds as planned, it will be the largest Chinese investment east of the Mississippi River, as well as the largest private Chinese auto supplier investment in the United States since 2004, and possibly ever. Fuyao Glass Industry Group Company Ltd., a subsidiary of Fujao North America Inc., is expected to pay $200 million for their part of the plant. Operations at the facility could begin as soon as 2015. The plant would supply auto makers across North America.