South Korea-based Mando, one of the world’s largest auto parts suppliers, has based its North American headquarters in Opelika, where it makes brake components, suspension modules and steering systems for U.S. industry customers.
As part of the expansion announced Tuesday, Mando will add new equipment and make improvements over the next three years to its facility in the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park. Once the project is complete, Mando’s Alabama investment will surpass $220 million and its workforce will number more than 700.
Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said Mando’s additional investment underscores the manufacturer’s confidence in its Opelika operation. Fuller announced the project at a City Council meeting Tuesday night.
“Mando is very important to Opelika,” Fuller said. “They are one of our largest manufacturing employers, and we understand this continued investment is a testament to the success they have had in Opelika.”
Mando’s expansion announcement comes amid a growth spurt in Alabama’s auto industry, which last year saw vehicle output eclipse the 1 million-mark for the first time. Auto industry employment has surged, and rising production volumes have stimulated rapid growth in the state’s supply chain.
“Alabama’s auto sector recorded a banner year in 2015, and it continues to gain momentum through expansion projects like Mando’s in Opelika,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “When world-class automotive companies repeatedly expand their operations in the state, the industry gets another reminder that ‘Made in Alabama’ translates into success.”
Mando is recognized globally for its innovative automotive chassis components and systems. The company operates 17 production plants and eight research and development centers in 10 countries.
“Mando’s new expansion project in Opelika is a sign of the strong partnership bond that Alabama has developed with this international manufacturer,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “Creating good jobs for Alabamians is the top priority of my administration, and Mando’s continued growth in Opelika is a welcome development.
“We’re committed to helping this world-class company expand its Alabama base,” he added.