GROVE CITY, Ohio—Auto parts maker Tigerpoly Manufacturing Inc. has plans to invest $10.7 million in its Grove City operations, the only U.S. manufacturing site the company has. The plans, disclosed Sept. 9, will add 105,000 square feet of space to the company's 32-year-old Grove City facility and create about 40 jobs.
The decision to expand in Ohio comes after considering several options, including expansion to southern states, the company said in a news release issued by JobsOhio. Grove City, located about 10 miles southwest of Columbus, Ohio, offers a number of advantages for Tigerpoly, including its proximity to Honda Manufacturing Inc., which operates three Ohio plants—in Marysville, East Liberty and Anna.
"Expanding in Grove City allows us to leverage our longstanding commitment to the Columbus Region," Tim Vanover, Tigerpoly senior operations manager, said in the news release. "The Columbus region is already home to a robust automotive industry and friendly business climate, allowing us to remain in a cost-competitive market from both a geographical and labor perspective."
In recent years, Ohio attempted to embrace new vehicle technology, offering a supportive environment for companies to test autonomous and electric vehicles. In May 2018, then-Ohio Gov. John Kasich opened Ohio roads to autonomous vehicle testing. Four months later, Ann Arbor, Mich.-based May Mobility won a bid to operate low-speed autonomous shuttles, though the move did face backlash from some, including unionized workers.
Tigerpoly first established operations in Grove City in 1987, and in 2002 expanded its capabilities there with the addition of a research and development center.
"Tigerpoly is a longstanding partner in Franklin County, and we are thrilled that its success has led the company to expand in Grove City," Franklin County Commissioner John O'Grady said in a statement. "We look forward to seeing its continued growth following three decades of success in our business community."
The company's expansion also helps to strengthen Ohio's manufacturing and trade partnerships with Japan, which was the fifth largest market for Ohio-made products in 2018, JobsOhio said. Tigerpoly is among 133 Japan-based companies to find an overseas home in Central Ohio.
"Tigerpoly's investment is an example of how Japanese companies are choosing to come to Ohio while continuing to grow here," Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement.
Central Ohio also is a growing in terms of automotive and auto parts manufacturing.
According to the JobsOhio news release, Columbus region businesses manufacture more than 700,000 cars each year, employing around 19,000. Annually, the area's economic output for the automotive industry exceeds $2.5 billion.
Tigerpoly Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Tigers Polymer Corp. Founded in 1938, Tiger Polymers operates 12 locations in six countries.