Dwain Land on Wednesday got the kind of news every mayor wants.
Mann+Hummel USA announced plans to build an auto supplier plant with up to 150 jobs, and the Dunlap, Tenn., mayor hopes the $15 million factory will help cut Sequatchie County's 9.3 percent jobless rate.
"It's a huge move and a step in the right direction," he said.
The German auto supplier, which will make air intake manifolds and air cleaner systems in Dunlap, is to move into the closed Seymour Tubing plant pending final approvals, the mayor said.
Seymour shut down in mid-2009, blaming the auto industry meltdown, and moved operations to another facility in Indiana. Seymour, which made shock absorbers, exhaust systems and other auto parts, had built the $25 million, 170,000-square-foot plant in 2000.
Mann+Hummel production could start in the first quarter of 2012 with work and employment gearing up the rest of the year, officials said.
The company already serves as a supplier to the Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga in a small way and hopes to grow that partnership.
Hiring is to start late this year, and the company expects to use Tennessee's Career Centers to find workers.
Pay levels are slated to be competitive with other auto suppliers and manufacturers in the area, officials said.
The parts maker is receiving an incentive package for the Dunlap plant, but details weren't immediately available.
Bill Hagerty, the state's economic and community development commissioner, said Mann+Hummel is "a prime example of the growth and promise we see in both the automotive industry and advanced manufacturing industry...."
Mann+Hummel's U.S. operations are based in Portage, Mich., and Dunlap will serve as its southern operations. The company already employs 320 people in Michigan.
On a global basis, the company is a supplier to Volkswagen, General Motors and other automakers.