As published in Toledo Business Journal - August 1, 2015
GT Technologies located on Fearing Avenue in Toledo
GT Technologies is exploring an investment of over $29 million into its Toledo-area Defiance plants by adding new equipment to increase production volume.
The company is exploring investing over $22 million into its Toledo plant and over $7 million into the Defiance plant over the course of six years, assuming that the company wins anticipated new business it is pursuing, according to Jim Porcaro, vice president of human resources for GT Technologies.
“We’re exploring investing in both of the plants right now, but we are actively seeking some additional business with our current customers,” said Porcaro. “We are anticipating growth, but we’re still putting together what the plans are.”
“The GT Technologies expansion project has been a long and complicated process,” said Jerry Hayes, executive director of the Defiance County Economic Development Office. “A broad partnership including Lucas and Defiance Counties, the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP), JobsOhio, and even the Center for Automotive Research worked together to find a solution to assist this growth project. For the Defiance community, GT Technologies’ possible expansion means a stronger company with additional jobs at attractive pay levels.”
The Toledo plant currently has 80 employees and primarily focuses on stamping and some automation. The plant in Defiance employs 170 and focuses more on machining.
According to Porcaro, GT Technologies is exploring an additional 24 new jobs in Toledo and 19 jobs in Defiance over the course of the next six years. In addition, overseas production jobs in China are expected to be reshored to the Toledo area.
“Any increases in headcount that we obtain if we win the new business, we get a tax credit as we grow,” he said. “We put all of that into play so that as we continue to grow then that will come to fruition and we can take advantage of those credits.”
As a tier one supplier of valvetrain systems and components for gasoline and diesel internal combustion engines, GT Technologies sells to Ford, Chrysler, and several heavy-duty machinery companies in the Toledo area. GT Technologies also services heavy-duty diesel customers with mechanical roller tappets and roller bearings for high-pressure fuel injector pumps.
According to the company, GT Technologies was a market pioneer, with roots dating back to the early 1900s, developing the manufacturing process to produce high volume complex crown bearings for reduced contact stress in high load-bearing applications. By the mid-1950s the company developed the metal chemistry and manufacturing process for flat tappets, eliminating the need for a separate tappet cam face component even in high performance applications. In 1987, GT Technologies introduced the first stamped roller finger follower, revolutionizing the industry with improvements in valvetrain intertia, stiffness, and cost.
According to the company, GT Technologies continues to hold a significant industry position in the number of patent awards and provides leading edge valvetrain systems and components developed specifically for customer applications.
Both the Toledo facility on Fearing Avenue and the facility in Defiance produce a variety of auto parts, including hydraulic lash adjusting capsules, hydraulic and mechanical roller tappets, stamped rocker arms and roller finger followers, roller bearings and axles, rocker shaft assemblies, and valvetrain actuation assemblies with hydraulic lash compensation.
Porcaro also said that most of the anticipated volume increase would be sold in the Toledo area.
The company considered consolidating operations at its existing facility in Tallahassee, Florida, but ultimately decided to invest in the northwest Ohio facilities if it wins the new business that it needs. According to Porcaro, this was because company employees in northwest Ohio possess expertise in stamping, because northwest Ohio has a strong talent pool with expertise in stamping, and because the Toledo area has a strong “automotive ecosystem”.
“We are absolutely committed to Toledo and Defiance both,” he said. “We met with the late Mayor D. Michael Collins last summer, and we have also met with the Mayor of Defiance and given our full commitment and our intentions to stay and be strong manufacturers in the Toledo area.”
The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 40%, six-year tax credit to GT Technologies for the creation of $1,632,883 in new annual payroll as a result of the company’s planned expansion project in Toledo if it obtains the new business. The company will recieve another, similar tax credit for the creation of $902,636 in new annual payroll as a result of its expansion project in Defiance if it obtains the new business. As part of both tax credit agreements, the Authority requires the company to maintain operations at the project locations for at least nine years.