The city has been buzzing with the news and rightfully so. This expansion of the company into Chatham, due to lack of space at their St. Thomas plant is great news for our Municipality. Phil Page, general manager of Magna Formet Industries said the company was looking for suitable space within a two to three hour radius of the St. Thomas facility. Due to an increase in the demand for the battery enclosures that the company manufactures for the electric version of Ford’s F-150 pickup truck, the St. Thomas location found themselves out of room. The enclosures with be built at the former Crown Metal Packaging plant on Irwin Street off Riverview Drive. The vacant building, a 15,794 square metre facility met the company’s needs. Due to Chatham’s proximity to St. Thomas and its location on the 401 corridor, it was a good fit for the company, since this project goes into Dearborn Michigan where the F150 Lightning is being produced.
Magna took possession of the property on April 1 with equipment expected to arrive in early June. More than $50 million will be spent on the Chatham operation within the first 18 months with a possible $50 million in the future. According to Page, getting the facility ready will require minimum work. He expects the first battery trays will roll off the production line in late fall of this year. By early 2023 he expects the plant to be running with three shifts and eventually producing 120,000 units per year. This means 150 new jobs for residents of Chatham-Kent. Full time production team members will start at $22.90 per hour with an annual 5 percent pay increase. Skilled trade workers start at $39.01 per hour.
Magna is a global employer with 158,000 employees in 343 manufacturing operations and 91 product-development, engineering and sales centres spanning 28 countries. They are often Industry leaders and their choice to locate in our Municipality is great news for our future ecomony according to Mayor Darrin Canniff. The Economic Development Committee has worked diligently on reducing red tape involved to make this new Chatham-Kent develpment possible and looks forward to a profitable future for both Magna and Chatham-Kent.
Welcome to Chatham-Kent Magna and wishing you huge success in the future