Kautex Expands Lavonia Plant

Local Lavonia industry Kautex has announced it will expand its current facility this summer.

On Thursday, officials announced the company will add another 95,000 square feet of warehouse space to its existing plant on SR17S, representing a $3.3 million dollar investment.

Kautex Textron GmbH & Co. KG   is a subsidiary of Textron, Inc. which is based in Bonn, Germany and is considered one of the top 100 automotive suppliers worldwide.

The company is a leading global supplier of plastic fuel tank systems, selective catalytic reduction systems and clear vision systems

In Lavonia, they manufacture fuel systems for major automakers, including GM, BMW, Daimler-Chrysler, Nissan, Honda, and Mercedes Benz.

At a press conference Thursday morning, Tyler Miles, Director of Operations for Kautex said the expansion is to accommodate a new product line called SCR Systems for diesel trucks and vehicles.

“What this tank does is it holds a urea fluid,” Miles said. “And the urea ejects into the catalytic converter for diesel systems. It mixes with the nitrus oxide and when those two fluid meet, instead of emitting carbon into the atmosphere, it’s water.”

Miles said that means emissions for diesel fueled cars and trucks are dramatically reduced.

The SCR System will be installed not only in diesel trucks but also in diesel powered vehicles.

“We’re starting to do VW small products,” he said. “We’re doing the Golf, the Jetta, the Passat. So significant growth in the smaller vehicle segment as well. We are the only plant in North America that provides this technology to our customers.”

Kautex first opened in Lavonia in 1993 with 20 employees and made one product for the automotive industry, a window fluid system.

In 2003, the company expanded into the fuel system segment of the industry and added a 20,000 square foot facility to their existing building.

The company plans to open the new addition this summer.

Attending the press conference Thursday was Georgia Commissioner of Economic Development Chris Carr.

Carr noted  that last year Georgia was named the number one state in the nation to do business, according to Site Selection Magazine.

He said last year 66% of announcements were expansions of Georgia companies.

He said the expansion is in line with Governor Nathan Deal’s effort to grow the state’s economy by not only bringing in new industry but offering incentives for existing businesses to expand.

“Today we’re here to congratulate Kautex for their exciting announcement and for the contribution of Lavonia and Franklin County to the State of Georgia,” Carr said.

 Kautex operates in 15 countries with 5,500 employees. Further information can be found under www.kautex.com.