MOORESVILLE, S.C.—Hose manufacturer Tristone Flowtech Group GmbH's wide reaching manufacturing base officially has spread to the U.S.
It launched the construction of a new plant, the company's first on U.S. soil, in Mooresville with a groundbreaking ceremony on May 16. The firm said the investment in the factory likely will total about $23.6 million.
Tristone hopes to finish building the facility, which it will lease under a long-term contract, in November and begin operating out of the site in May 2019.
According to Guenter Froelich, president and CEO of the Frankfurt, Germany-headquartered hose system manufacturer, the new production facility will span about 215,000 square feet, with about 177,000 of that space designated for manufacturing and logistics.
He said the site initially will produce engine and battery cooling hose systems. Later it also will manufacture plastic pipes, surge tanks and more complex battery cooling systems. It will primarily serve companies in the U.S. and Canada.
Tristone, which began making preparations for and pre-selection of its first U.S. plant in 2017, expects to create more than 300 jobs at the Mooresville factory during the next three years.
"Most of the management team is made up of Americans who have already been hired and are in training, as well as others coming from Europe or Mexico," Froelich said.
It will be the company's second plant in North America and the third facility it has launched in the last three years.
In April 2017, the firm moved into a newly constructed 175,000-sq.-ft. hose factory in Delician, Mexico, from a smaller site in the city. The new facility in Mexico more than doubled its manufacturing space in the country.
In September 2016, the firm inaugurated a new plant in Pune, India. Construction on the 38,000-sq.-ft. structure was completed last year and production of engine cooling hose systems and surge tanks was slated to begin in the second quarter. The factory makes products for the Indian market.
In addition, Tristone operates production plants in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, France, Turkey and China.
"We are dedicated to our passenger car automotive business fields: Engine and battery cooling, and air charge applications," Froelich said.
Tristone has a strong customer base of original equipment manufacturers in the NAFTA region, he noted. Currently the company makes hose systems and surge tanks for the region at its plant in Mexico.
That will change for companies operating in the U.S. and Canada when the Mooresville facility is up and running, The new plant in South Carolina will produce most of the products for those firms, Froelich said, and "is already significantly contracted with business from these OEMs."
Tristone's customer base in the NAFTA region includes General Motors, Ford, FiatChrysler, BMW, Volkswagen and a number of Tier 1 companies.
With sales of about $355.8 million in 2017, the company expects to grow by another $60 million in revenues after the Mooresville production facility begins operating, Froelich said. Roughly about $40 million of that sales figure already is contracted, he added.
A spin-off of the former Fluid Automotive business unit of Trelleborg A.B. in July 2010, Tristone operated as a stand-alone company until February 2017 when it was acquired by the Zhongding Group. It continues to operate under the Tristone name and corporate structure. The firm employs about 3,300 globally.