Carlex, the US subsidiary of the Japan-based Central Glass Co., has bought the former Ford Glass Plant in Nashville from Michigan-based Zeledyne Corp., owner of the facility since mid-2008.
The company, which also has a factory in Vonore, Tenn., south of Knoxville, makes automotive glass for the original equipment manufacturers as well as the aftermarket.
Along with the Nashville purchase, Carlex also acquired Zeledyne``s automotive aftermarket glass distribution centre in Lebanon.
James E. Jim Shepherd is the new executive vice president of Carlex, leading the company``s sales, marketing, information-technology and business-planning functions at the company``s new Nashville headquarters, which is at the plant site.
Shepherd, a Michigan native, is a graduate of Michigan State University and began his career in the glass industry with PPG Industries immediately after college.
Before the plant can start operations, there are some repairs that need to be carried out to bring the infrastructure up to where it needs to be. Two new windshield lines will be put in, while the float line will also undergo significant upgrades. Once the work is completed (summer 2012), the plant will have state-of-the-art equipment for manufacturing windshields and float glass. This will increase both capacity and, more important, quality.
The employee count will stay relatively stable with 450 production workers at present, but is expected to increase as new business arrives.