Alberto Bombassei, left, chairman of Brembo S.p.A., Daniel Sandberg, president and CEO of Brembo North America, and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder cut the ceremonial ribbon to mark the grand opening of Brembo's expanded manufacturing operations in Homer. Courtesy Brembo
An Italian auto parts maker is investing $115 million through 2015 to expand its brake plant in the region.
Brembo S.p.A. celebrated the grand opening of the expanded plant today in Homer, southeast of Battle Creek, in a ceremony that was attended by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
The completed project will expand the facility that houses the production of brakes, discs, calipers and corner modules.
North American market
Brembo, based in Stezzano, Italy, also announced today plans to make North America its top market.
"This expanded and modernized production facility represents a new foundation for Brembo in North America, enabling us to increase our presence in the U.S. market and offer better service to our clients," said Alberto Bombassei, chairman, Brembo.
The company said revenue from its North American operations jumped 19.4 percent from 2012 to 2013. Revenues during the first quarter of this year were up 27.7 percent over the first quarter of last year.
It credited the gains to its purchase of the Hayes-Lemmerz Automotive Brake Component division in 2007 and the "substantial" growth of U.S.-based original equipment manufacturers.
Brembo began manufacturing disc brakes in the U.S. after buying the Hayes-Lemmerz discs division, which included the Homer plant.
The plant has undergone several expansions since then. Brembo built a caliper and corner module manufacturing facility next to the disc plant in 2010.
The combined 440,000-square-foot plant employs more than 450 people. It has 47 processing lines and 12 painting lines.