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The Mann+Hummel plant is seen on Wednesday, Sept. 27, in Dunlap, Tenn.

A German automotive supplier in Dunlap will invest another $15 million and add 50 more jobs over the next five years as it expands its production of air intake manifolds and filtration systems.

Mann+Hummel USA plans to add equipment and building upgrades at its Dunlap plant, which opened eight years ago. The company's Sequatchie County location produces air intake manifolds and filtration systems for automotive manufacturers, including commercial and industrial vehicles, and has expanded to nearly 300 employees over the past eight years to become the largest private employer in the county.

"When Mann+Hummel expanded to the Tennessee Valley in 2011, it was a big step in growing our footprint within the U.S.," Jack Endres, vice president of operations for the company's American production facilities, said in an announcement Tuesday. "Since that time, the company has grown exponentially in North America, through both acquisitions and organic growth, and we continue to strengthen our business and partnerships in the region."

Most of the new jobs will be in production, Endres said.

Mann+Hummel is the second German automotive supplier to announce building plans in Dunlap this year. In March, Hubner Manufacturing Corp., a subsidiary of the Kasssel, Germany-based Hubner Group, announced plans for a $9.6 million plant in the Dunlap Industrial Park to produce extruded and molded rubber parts, gaskets, and seals for the transportation, oil and gas, and aerospace industries.

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Line lead employee Amber Hixson, left, works at Mann+Hummel on Wednesday, Sept. 27, in Dunlap, Tenn.

Across Tennessee, nearly 130 facilities make or sell products from a German-owned company, including 27 German-based manufacturers which have located facilities in Southeast Tennessee in the past decade. Collectively, German businesses in Southeast Tennessee have invested nearly $5 billion in local operations.

"Tennessee is an ideal place for international companies to do business," Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said in a statement. "Mann+Hummel's expansion in Dunlap is yet another case where our skilled workforce has exceeded expectations and enabled a business to invest and grow considerably."

Headquartered in Ludwigsburg, Germany, Mann+Hummel and its subsidiaries employ more than 21,000 people at more than 80 locations worldwide. The company has operations in the United States in California, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

The company is a global leader in filtration solutions for automobiles, industrial applications, clean air interior spaces and the sustainable use of water. Hamm+Hummel develops, produces and distributes a number of filtration products, and is heavily involved in research and development for future filtration needs. For the transportation market, the company's lineup includes air cleaner systems, intake manifold systems, liquid filter systems, plastic components, filer media, cabin filters, industrial filters and membrane filters.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6340

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