Kongsberg Automotive, a manufacturer of automotive, aerospace, and truck components announced Tuesday that it plans to expand its operation in Pickens County. The $7.3 million investment is expected to generate 300 new jobs over the next five years.
The existing plant became part of the Norwegian company in 2007 after it purchased previous owner Teleflex Automotive. Kongsberg said rapid growth for its products required a new facility to be nearly double the size of its current building. Company officials were looking at other locations in the U.S. and Mexico before Pickens County officials recommended a site in Easley that had been operated by Confluence Watersports until it moved out earlier this year.
“South Carolina is very pro-business,” Kongsberg plant manager Matt McKinnon said, “Costs here are very reasonable. Very reasonable lease rate. The property tax here is very reasonable. South Carolina is also a very good place as far as our customer base and shipping. It’s very strategically located.”
The company hopes to be up and running at its new Easley facility by the end of March. They will begin hiring for new positions in January.
Kongsberg Automotive develops, manufactures and markets systems for gearshift, clutch actuation, seat comfort, stabilizing rods, couplings and components.