Valeo Opens First Manufacturing Plant in Michigan

Gov. Granholm, industry executives and employees celebrate creation of 125 new jobs

Highland Park, Mich., June 11, 2010Valeo, a leading global automotive supplier, celebrated the opening of its first manufacturing plant in Michigan on June 10. Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, industry executives, and plant employees attended the event to commemorate Valeo’s commitment to manufacturing in Michigan as well as the creation of 125 new jobs through the Michigan Works! Association.

“Valeo is proud to contribute to Michigan’s economic growth with the opening of Valeo’s first manufacturing plant in Michigan and our first sequencing operation in the United States,” said Françoise Colpron, national director, Valeo North America. “This new manufacturing site represents an important step in Valeo’s strategy to grow our presence in North America and demonstrate our culture of operational excellence, based on world-class quality levels and strong values shared by all of our team members.”

Located in Highland Park, the Valeo plant is building front-end modules for the 2011 Jeep® Grand Cherokee. As its first sequencing operation in the United States, Valeo can customize the modular technology of 50 parts into hundreds of configuration options depending on customer needs. The manufacturing site currently is running one shift with 70 employees and plans to add a second shift later this summer, bringing in another 55 workers.

Gov. Granholm, with the assistance of Highland Park Mayor Hubert Yopp, Valeo executives, and customer representatives, conducted the ceremonial ribbon cutting.  Granholm spoke to the crowd about Valeo’s investment in the region’s people and auto industry growth, as well as the use of Michigan Works! to create new jobs.

“I’m pleased Valeo is investing in our state and creating jobs for Michigan workers,” Gov. Granholm said. “With the opening of this manufacturing plant, Valeo is sending a message across the globe that Michigan is the center of automotive excellence in North America.”

Valeo executives from both North America and France (Valeo’s headquarters) also shared updates on corporate initiatives and its strengthened commitment to reducing CO2 emissions.

“Today’s announcement represents a continued step forward in Valeo’s mission to reduce CO2 emissions,” said Lionel Monteiller, general manager, Valeo Front-End Module, Global Operations. “All Valeo products, including the front-end module manufactured in this facility, help our customers reduce their carbon footprint and increase their competitive advantage.”

Valeo’s latest vehicle technologies were also on display at the event, including the Park4U™ system, which parks a vehicle parallel to the curb automatically in a few seconds; UltimateCooling™, which can generate fuel savings for vehicles using air-conditioning and saves space in the front end; and the AquaBlade® system, which ensures perfect road visibility in all driving conditions and a significant reduction in the weight of the windshield wiper system.

Valeo is an independent industrial Group fully focused on the design, production and sale of components, integrated systems and modules for the automotive industry, mainly for CO2 emissions reduction. Valeo ranks among the world’s top automotive suppliers. The Group has 118 plants, 21 Research centers, 40 Development centers, 10 distribution platforms and employs 55,100 people in 27 countries worldwide.

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