West Virginia Department of Commerce Success Stories

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Success Stories




Allevard Springs USA: Auto parts manufacturer earns international certification
 

  • Subsidiary of Sogefi, a worldwide leader in automotive components, Allevard Springs USA produces coil springs and stabilizer bars for automotive suspensions 
  • In 2004, $27 million facility opened in Prichard Industrial Park, Wayne County 
  • In 2006, invested $7 million to install a new production line equipment 
  • Received ISO/TS16949 certification, an international quality management system standard specifically for automotive manufacturing
In 2004, Allevard Springs opened in Prichard Industrial Park in Wayne County. The $27 million project was aided by loans from the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council and the West Virginia Economic Development Authority.

"I've had experience with building new factories that involved the cooperation of state agencies in another state, but West Virginia showed exceptional professionalism in helping Allevard Springs USA get started,” said Troy Thomas, plant manager. “We asked the state Department of Environmental Protection for help in correctly applying for the necessary permits. Their advice helped smooth the process."

Low cost electricity, strategic location and a capable workforce were among the attractions that brought Allevard Springs to West Virginia. Said Thomas, “West Virginia has one of the lowest costs per kilowatt hour in the U.S. — and is comparatively lower than in most of the other nine countries in which we operate.”

West Virginia is centrally located to the manufacturer’s markets. Allevard Springs buys steel and other raw materials from sources inside West Virginia, neighboring states and globally. The company delivers to facilities in Ohio, Chicago and other locations in the region. West Virginia also positions Allevard Springs within reach of prospective customers in the South.

Production is a complex process that includes robotics and computer controls. The manufacturer was able to recruit employees with the aptitude to master these technologies. State grants helped offset the cost of additional technical training for the start-up plant.

Within two years, Thomas said, Allevard Springs USA achieved productivity and quality levels that compare well with the best among the 12 other plants its parent company operates in nine countries worldwide.