Auto supplier expanding presence


Ionia-based Ventra Ionia makes bumpers and grille assemblies for automakers. Courtesy The Right Place

A maker of auto parts is planning to expand its manufacturing footprint in the area.

Ventra Ionia, located at 14 N. Beardsley in Ionia, plans to purchase a 48,900-square-foot facility in Ionia, at 1790 Blue Water Highway, adjacent to its existing facility, according to The Right Place yesterday.

The “resulting expansion” is expected to create 109 jobs and up to $4.85-million in capital investment.

The expansion will allow the company to move an existing portion of its business to the newly purchased building, freeing up much-needed space in the main facility for a new Ford Ranger bumper program. The new program may include assembly, paint and chrome finishing.

“Today’s news wouldn’t be possible if not for the commitment and talent of our workforce in Ionia, a workforce that has been directly responsible for years of success and now an extremely promising future for our Ventra operation,” said Bill Beistline, VP of procurement at Flex-N-Gate, the parent company of Ventra Ionia.

The Right Place, an economic development agency based in Grand Rapids, competed against several other states, including existing locations in Illinois and Indiana, for the project.

The agency also connected Ventra to workforce development resources at West Michigan Works! to assist with talent recruitment and training.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation approved a $600,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant for the project.

Ventra Ionia

Ventra makes automotive front and rear bumpers and grille assemblies for original equipment manufacturers, including Ford and General Motors.

The company offers diverse manufacturing capabilities, including stamping, welding, chrome plating, molding, assembly and testing.

Headquartered in Urbana, Illinois, Flex-N-Gate, the parent company of Ventra Ionia, employs more than 26,000 people at 62 manufacturing facilities and multiple product development and engineering facilities throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, France and Spain.

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