Automotive supplier to add 171 jobs in Tennessee

FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2008 file photo, assembly line worker Melvin Matthews, right, uses a large robotic machine to install front seats in a Chevrolet Traverse at the GM Spring Hill Manufacturing Plant, in Spring Hill, Tenn. The French automotive suppplier Faurecia is planning to more than double its operations in Spring Hill. (AP Photo/Bill Waugh, File)

A decade after announcing plans to build an automotive parts plant in Chattanooga, the French auto equipment maker Faurecia is continuing to expand in Tennessee with plans to invest another $18 million and add another 171 jobs at the company's plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Faurecia, one of the top 10 global automotive suppliers, said Wednesday it will add nearly 100,000 square feet to its Spring Hill facility near the GM assembly plant in Maury County to boost production of door panel assemblies. The expansion will double the investment by Faurercia in Spring Hill and more than double the current 150-employee staff.

The Spring Hill expansion will support Faurecia's position as one of the world's leading suppliers of seat systems, full interior systems, electronics and display technologies, and ultra-low and zero emission solutions.

"We are excited for this expansion that would not have been possible without the team's experience, an engaged workforce, and local government support," said Petri Duplessis, Faurecia Spring Hill plant manager. "This expansion is another chapter in supporting our employees, our local community and business partners, and commitment to delivering innovative, high-quality solutions to our customers."

Founded in 1997, Faurecia operates 266 industrial sites and approximately 39 R&D centers in 35 countries worldwide, including an exhaust and emissions control technologies plant in the Volkswagen supplier park in Chattanooga's Enterprise South Industrial Park.

"Since 2015, French-owned companies have invested more than $280 million in our state, and we appreciate Faurecia for committing an additional $18 million of capital investment," said Bob Rolfe, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Faurecia is among nearly $10 billion of new automotive production investments planned or underway in Tennessee, which has already emerged as the biggest car-producing state in the Southeast.

"With more than 930 auto suppliers and one of the lowest tax burdens in the nation, Tennessee is the beating heart of the southern automotive corridor," Rolfe said.

Tennessee's automotive manufacturing includes major assembly plants by Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Nissan in Smyrna, General Motors in Spring Hill and soon Ford Motor Co. near Memphis. Collectively, those plants assembled over 800.000 vehicles in Tennessee last year and the Ford addition and expansions underway at VW and GM could push that annual production total to over 1 million in the future.

Automotive employment in Tennessee totals over 141,000 direct jobs, a number that's 3.27 times the national average. Transportation equipment is Tennessee's top export – accounting for 12% of Tennessee's total exports. In 2020, 4 percent of all U.S.-made cars, light trucks and SUVs were produced in Tennessee, according to the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Contact Dave Flessner at or at 423-757-6340