New industry announced for Shelbyville

Friday, August 27, 2010
SMW Automotive will occupy the former Summit Polymers facility in Airport Industrial Park.

SHELBYVILLE -- State economic development officials announced Thursday morning that SMW Automotive, a supplier of brake and chassis components for companies like Nissan and Volkswagen, will open a production facility this fall in the former Summit Polymers location in Airport Industrial Park.

The project represents a $26 million capital investment by SMW and is expected to create 170 jobs over the next five years.

SMW is based in Troy, Mich., and supplies steering knuckles, control arms, wheel hubs and brake corner assemblies. The company has eight manufacturing plants in the U.S. and other plants in Europe, South America and Asia.

"This announcement by SMW Automotive is a significant win for our state's economy," said Gov. Phil Bredesen in a news release. "I am very pleased to see this investment in our state by SMW Automotive, and I am confident our workforce will prove to be an asset for the company as it continues to grow."

"I'm certainly glad to see it come into Shelbyville," said Shelbyville Mayor Wallace Cartwright. "It's something we've been needing, and I'm just proud that it's coming in. I'm hoping for good things out of it."

"I'm real happy for the people of Bedford County to be able to be employed," said Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray, noting the unemployment rate which has hovered around 10 percent. "It's just a celebration for Bedford County .... We're having a celebration during the Celebration with our 170 jobs."

Summit Polymers shut down its Shelbyville operations in late 2008 and early 2009, putting 222 hourly workers and 41 salaried workers out of a job.

"We are looking forward to launching this new plant close to our customers and suppliers," said Tom Bane, SMW's director of manufacturing, in a news release. "The Shelbyville area has a skilled, solid and reliable workforce, supported by the Tennessee Technology Center with CNC machining, metrology and assembly training programs. We have started our recruiting and training process. The plant will eventually employ 170 people based on awarded 2011-2012 business.

"The State of Tennessee and the Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce have provided invaluable assistance to help us get this plant up and running in a very short time. SMW will use its long experience of starting new plants to make this launch flawless."

Applications for the facility are already being accepted at Tennessee Career Center, 301 North Main St., 685-5000. Production will begin this fall.

"Once again, the ripple effect from the presence of anchor companies like Nissan and Volkswagen has leveraged significant investment," said Commissioner Matt Kisber of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. "Tennessee's strategy of identifying and securing business 'anchors' capable of generating follow-on investment like SMW Automotive means more high-skill, good-paying jobs are available for Tennesseans."

Binswanger Management Group, a Philiadelphia-based real estate firm specializing in commercial industrial property, announced July 1 through its Twitter account that it had sold a 131,000-square-foot industrial building in Shelbyville to a Nissan supplier. The link to the Binswanger web site revealed a photo and description of the Summit Polymers building.

Soon thereafter, the transaction list from the Register of Deeds' office listed a $3.5 million sale from Shelbyville Industrial Development Board to Automotive Properties of New York LLC.