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Heartland Automotive breaks ground at expansion site

Construction is beginning soon on a new manufacturing plant in Lafayette.

Heartland Automotive is building on Veterans Memorial Parkway so it can expand its business. The company makes car parts for Subaru and Toyota, and currently is on Kepner Drive in Lafayette.

Senior Vice President Ronan Miot says they’re running out of space at that facility.

"We want to be closer to our customers, to better service them as well. So, in the past couple years, we've expanded our production and we feel the need to expand and be closer to them is the right time, right now."

He says the expansion means Heartland Automotive is confident it will be a supplier for its main customers for the next 10-20 years. Miot feels the move from leased space into something more permanent is a good sign.

"We've been here about ten years. By building and owning something in Lafayette means that we are here for the very long term."

The $8.4 million investment means 38 temporary jobs will become full-time. Production is expected to begin at the new 17-acre site in late fall.

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski says the city is getting a reputation as a good place to set-up a manufacturing operation.

"A great community, workforce, Purdue, Ivy Tech, sound infrastructure, good transportation, solid - and I think this is very important - cooperation between all the units of government. We all work together and I think people see that. We'll continue to market that."

He says design work is underway for the next phase of widening Veterans Memorial Parkway in front of the Park 350 shovel-ready industrial park. The city also is providing tax abatements for Heartland Automotive, which is based in Greencastle, IN.