Valeo expansion to add 18 area jobs

Good economic news is how city leaders like to end the year.

And that is what automobile lighting manufacturer Valeo delivered to the Seymour

City Council.

The company announced Monday plans to invest

$10.9 million in new manufacturing equipment at its Freeman Field plant to support business growth. That growth will include adding 18 jobs at the facility generating $1 million

in salaries.

Valeo currently employs 1,650 workers in Seymour, making it the second-largest industrial employer in the county behind Aisin USA.

The council approved a tax abatement for the investment Monday that will allow the company to phase in paying taxes on the equipment during the next 10 years.

Jim Plump, director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., spoke on behalf of the company in requesting the abatement.

“It’s a good way to close the year and a great way to start looking at some investment numbers for 2015,” he said.

The new jobs likely will be a mix of high-paying engineering jobs and production workers, he added.

Installation of new presses, molds and other machinery is scheduled to begin early next year and wrap up by year’s end, according to a statement of benefits filed with the city this month.

Plump said he didn’t know if the equipment was needed to produce new products or just to make lighting for new vehicle models.

No other information on the investment was available due to a factory

shutdown period for the Christmas holiday.

In July, the company announced plans to hire 38 engineers and change its name from Valeo Sylvania to just Valeo, ending a longtime joint venture.

The lighting systems manufacturer has operated in Seymour since 1978 and has developed several lighting innovations for the automotive industry, including the Omni Blade Light Emitting Diode High Beam and Learning Edge Technology.

Both are used in vehicle models worldwide.

By the numbers

$10.9 million — How much Valeo will spend on new manufacturing equipment in 2015

18 — Anticipated new jobs from the investment

1,650 — Current number of employees at Valeo’s Seymour plant

$1 million — How much will be generated in new salaries

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.