St. Thomas Magna components plant marks milestone with new deal, jobs – St. Thomas Instances-Journal

Presstran plant supervisor Brian Duivesteyn talks in St. Thomas Wednesday about its new three,000-tonne press, which can permit the autoparts maker to stamp bigger gadgets made out of the brand new era of stronger steels used to save lots of weight in pickups and SUVs. (Mike Hensen/The London Free Press)

ST. THOMAS — A Magna auto components plant right here is marking its 35th 12 months by including 60 staff after large new funding landed it a contract with an automaker.

Presstran Industries on Edward Road has added a three,000-tonne press that may stamp components out of high-strength metal, now in demand within the auto sector.

“That is wonderful, everyone seems to be speaking about downturn and our gross sales are growing, our manpower is growing, all the things goes up right here,” plant supervisor Brian Duivesteyn mentioned on the store flooring Wednesday.

Presstran has received work partially because of investing in new expertise to maintain the plant on the innovative, he added.

Presstran’s unveiled its new three,000-tonne press, which can permit them to stamp bigger gadgets made out of the brand new era of stronger steels used to save lots of weight in pickups and SUVs, throughout a plant celebration in St. Thomas on Wednesda. (Mike Hensen/The London Free Press)

It comes as automakers GM, Ford and Chrysler are reducing some jobs in Canada.

“This positions us effectively for the long run, after they (automakers) go to high-strength metal, we now have the gear to handle it,” mentioned John Wyskiel, a  vice-president with Magna’s Cosma stamping division. “It’s in demand, it’s extra according to gasoline economic system and lightweighting. As they skinny out the fabric to get it lighter, it must be stronger.

“Innovation is necessary to us,” he added.

Presstran now employs about 600, which means the brand new deal will increase its workforce by 10 per cent. Fellow St. Thomas Magna plant, Formet, employs about 1,300 and final 12 months received a 12-year contract with GM to make pickup frames. And Magna’s Qualtech Seating Programs plant in London employs about 300, which means Magna employs greater than 2,000 within the two cities.

Chief operator Tom Skuditis cited range as a motive Magna continues to win work. It’s a worldwide enterprise working with many alternative suppliers and automakers and that gives them some resiliency in a slowdown.

“Manufacturing will not be simple and it truly is all about individuals working collectively,” he mentioned. “It’s all about delivering a greater product for a greater value. Now we have a variety of diversification and we’re very aggressive in our analysis and growth.”

Duivesteyn wouldn’t say which automaker is behind the brand new contract, saying solely it’s a car assembler, not one other components plant. The half that might be stamped is a “flooring pan,” he added.

Presstran — a chassis specialist, making body and underbody parts — stamps components for Ford Mustangs, Chrysler Jeeps and GM’s Equinox and pickups. It additionally stamps components for Formet.

“Now we have an excellent, large number of prospects,” mentioned Duivesteyn.

Sean Dyke, financial growth director in St. Thomas, dubbed St. Thomas “Magna Metropolis” given the partsmaker’s robust native presence.

“St. Thomas’s largest main employer has a legacy right here locally,” he instructed staff gathered on the plant flooring.

Presstran opened greater than three many years in the past with about 100 staff, and has grown steadily, added Duivesteyn.

“Now we have developed right into a world-class manufacturing facility,” he mentioned. “This workforce right here is aware of learn how to make product . . . the outcomes are there, successful new enterprise.”

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