MOORESVILLE – For the 16th time in its 30-year history in Mooresville, NGK Ceramics USA Inc. is expanding.
The company has grown from an approximately 200,000-square-foot facility on Mazeppa Road to a nearly 825,000-square-foot facility that creates ceramic parts for the international automobile market.
“And we have actually been very, very successful being here in Mooresville,” NGK Ceramics USA President Steve Dailey said. “So we’re real proud about that.”
The Mooresville commissioners unanimously approved an economic incentive agreement for the newest expansion at their Dec. 3 meeting, with several board members thanking and congratulating Dailey for the economic growth NGK Ceramics has contributed to Mooresville.
The new facility NGK Ceramics plans to build will be 293,000 square feet and will store the company’s finished goods and raw materials – hence the project’s previous code name, “Project Storehouse.”
“As we started, we used to have all of our warehousing in our plant,” Dailey said. “And as our business has grown and pushed its way out to where we are now, we’re occupying in excess of 200,000 square feet of warehousing in Iredell County.”
Dailey said the company is also storing finished goods in warehouses in Tulsa, Okla.; Camden, N.J.; and Savannah, Ga.
“So this project is to pull all of that back to the Mooresville area, and this facility we’re talking about, so we can hopefully improve our customer service and the quality that we offer to our customers by having it local where we can manage it directly ourselves,” Dailey said.
NGK Ceramics manufactures what Dailey calls the ceramic “honeycomb” used in catalytic converters in automobiles and trucks.
“As a market, we started originally with aftermarket, which would be down here at Advanced Auto or something like that,” Dailey said. “But we actually are serving all of the automotive customers that you’re familiar with, be it Toyota, Ford, GM and so on from this one site. Worldwide.”
The new facility, which could open as early as the end of next year, is estimated to create 10 new full-time jobs and generate $17 million in new tax investment.
Mayor Pro Tem Thurman Houston asked Dailey what those 10 full-time positions would be.
Dailey said some would be logistics jobs, which would involve coordinating with trucking companies and the schedules created by NGK Ceramics’ sales division in Detroit.
“And there will also be people who will be driving forklifts to move the materials in and out and off the trucks, on the trucks and so on,” Dailey said.
As part of the economic development incentive grant, NGK Ceramics will receive $78,200 annually for five years, with the total economic incentive totaling $391,000.
The incentive is based on the acquisition of a $2.18-million, 42-acre property in the Mooresville Business Park East, where the 293,000-square-foot new facility will be built.
NGK Ceramics was also awarded an economic incentive grant by the Iredell County Board of Commissioners at its Dec. 4 meeting.
Dailey hopes the company will be able to close on the land for the new facility this week.
“This new facility will provide raw materials for their production lines around the world,” said Mooresville South Iredell Economic Development Corporation Director of Business Development Chris Younger. “It will also help them effectively handle finished goods.”
Just before the vote to approve the incentive grant, Commissioner Gary West thanked Dailey.
“Thank you for investing in Mooresville,” West said, “and for the jobs that you bring here.”