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Martinrea purchases Oxford

Corydon’s Oxford Automotive plant is now Corydon’s Martinrea plant.
Interest in the location and an ‘enormous economic incentive package’ will prevent the loss of more than 300 local jobs, said Weston Sedgwick, a spokesman for Indiana Economic Development Corp.
The Canadian-based fluid systems and metal-forming corporation gained its 18th facility with legal approval Thursday of the purchase of the Corydon plant.
‘Even though this is a very competitive market in metal forming, we believe in the future of Corydon. We think there is room to grow over time,’ said Rob Wildeboer, chairman of Martinrea, adding, ‘We intend to use that facility as one of our base metal-forming facilities in the United States.’
Tax credits of up to $3.5 million from the Economic Development for Growing Economy program have been offered by the state to help Martinrea achieve that goal, Sedgwick said.
In addition, ‘We have offered them and they have accepted incentives of up to $50,000 for workforce training from our Skills Enhancement Fund to train 322 Indiana resident employees, and up to $50,000 in training grants for technology professionals through the Technology Enhancement Certifications for Hoosiers (TECH) Fund,’ Sedgwick said.
Darrell Voelker, a member of the Harrison County Economic Development Corp., said the county has committed to a property tax abatement over a 10-year period on Martinrea’s new investment equivalent to $91,000, contingent upon approval by the Harrison County Council.
Also included in the county’s package is direct financial assistance to compliment the state’s incentives for such things as job and technology training, technology investment, use of the LNA&C railroad, and purchases of other Harrison County products and services equivalent to $500 per job, amounting to approximately $161,000.
Access for the Harrison County Job Training program for up to 25 employees for a value of $30,000 brings the total package to more than $280,000 including the tax abatement.
‘If (Martinrea) hadn’t come in, all those jobs at that previous operation would’ve been out the door,’ Weston said.
‘I would actually call it creating those jobs. These are all new jobs,’ he said.
Martinrea employs more than 3,000 workers at facilities in Indiana, Michigan, Mexico, Holland, U.K. and Canada.
‘We have a signficant U.S. presence. We’ve been one of the faster growing automotive parts companies in North America,’ Wildeboer said.
Martinrea’s biggest customers include Ford, General Motors and DaimlerChrysler. The corporation was the 2003 GM Supplier of the Year. The following year it was awarded the Ford Gold World Excellence Award.
Wildeboer acknowledges that it’s a very competitive industry.
‘If you can react to the pressure very well, pressure creates diamonds, and we think this plant can be a diamond in the rough,’ he said.
‘Our hope ‘ and we wouldn’t have invested otherwise ‘ is that Corydon has a good future and a good future with us.’