Week of August 19, 2002
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PWP Locating 130-Employee
PET Plastic Plant in West Virginia
MINERAL WELLS, W. Va. Familiarity didn't breed contempt for PWP Industries, which has announced that it will build a new 130-employee manufacturing plant in Mineral Wells, W. Va.
Governor: Earlier Project Also a Major FactorAn earlier positive experience in the state, Wise said, was likely also a major deal maker in leading PWP Industries to the location in the Parkersburg-Marietta, W. Va.-Ohio metro.
"PWP Industries' principals previously owned a manufacturing facility in Wheeling," the governor explained. "That prior successful experience assured company management of another profitable venture."
PWP's newest facility in Mineral Wells will help make the company the largest U.S. producer of PET packaging for the bakery and fresh-cut produce industries, PWP officials said.
PWP's production capacity is also getting a boost in the company's relocation of its headquarters and an existing manufacturing facility, both of which are located in California. The company is staying in the Golden State, and it isn't moving far with its dual migration. PWP is relocating both operations from the city of Buena Park to the city of Vernon, which is located some 20 miles (32-kilometers) to the northwest of Buena Park.
The larger facility in Vernon will facilitate a substantial increase in the company's California-based manufacturing volume, company officials said. The headquarters staff completed its move into to the new Vernon facility in June. The PWP production plant is relocating in phases in order to ensure a smooth transition, company officials said.
Oregon Campus for
HILLSBORO, Ore. Moving firms with operations in the Portland, Ore., metro can stop prospecting for Veeco FEI Company's business.
Sarkissian: Merger Will Accelerate Local GrowthVeeco FEI has 350 existing employees in the Portland area, who are currently dispersed in five separate operations. Those 350 employees will relocate to the new campus in Dawson Creek Park, Veeco FEI officials said. In addition, the company said that it will add 150 or more new employees at the site "in the next few years."
Some observers doubted whether Veeco FEI would remain in Oregon after the late July merger between FEI and Woodbury, New York-based Veeco Instruments. The union, forged through a stock deal valued at about $1 billion, would prompt FEI to relocate its operations on the East Coast, the thinking went.
That proved to not only not be the case; the merger will also be the catalyst for Veeco FEI (the merged company's new name) to expand in Oregon, said Sarkissian.
"Our merger with Veeco is about creating a new company and growth," he said. "We believe the merger will accelerate growth prospects of the new company and create new opportunities for our employees."
Merger a Marriage of EqualsFEI and Veeco officials called the merger a marriage of equals, with two complementary product lines that don't overlap. The two merged firms will together have 2,900 employees located in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific. The Veeco operations that were based in Woodbury at the time of the merger will remain in New York, company officials said.
FEI prior to the merger fared much better than many other high-tech firms during the tech-sector slump. In the past five years, FEI's revenues have grown from $169 million to $376 million, including a 17 percent increase in 2001.
The company's nanotechnology products have continued to be in demand from semiconductor manufacturers continually working to shrink the size of their chips. FEI makes structural process management systems, which employ ion beams to analyze and diagnose sub-micron structures in semiconductors, data-storage components, and biological and industrial compounds. Philips Electronics owns 25 percent of the company.
SEOUL Another foreign firm is poised to join the North American auto-expansion juggernaut. Following the lead of parent Hyundai, Kia Motors has disclosed that it will build an assembly plant on the continent in the next few years, possibly as soon as 2004.
U.S. Sales of 300,000 Would Trigger ProjectThe magic number that will trigger Kia's plant is 300,000. Annual U.S. sales of 300,000 vehicles would prompt the company to accelerate planning for a North American assembly plant, Kia officials said.
Kia is fast closing in on the 300,000 figure for U.S. sales. After selling 223,721 vehicles in the United States in 2001, the company is on a pace to record more than 260,000 U.S. sales this year.
A joint Hyundai-Kia task force has been investigating the feasibility of locating such a facility since last year. High-level officials on that task force reportedly include Kia Motors America President Ahn Byung-mo and Hyundai Motor-Kia Motors Chairman Chung Mong-koo.
Kia's measured approach to expanding in North America is understandable, history suggests. While still a separate firm, Kia grew to become Korea's No. 3 automaker. But the company's overly ambitious expansion, along with Asia's economic meltdown, sent Kia into bankruptcy in 1998, when it was acquired by Hyundai.
The two ex-competitors are now merging their platforms for greater efficiency. Hyundai officials have announced that by 2005 Hyundai and Kia will reduce the total number of platforms from 23 to seven for all of the vehicles that are made under both names.
The pickup trucks that Kia will assemble in North America will likely use the platform of the automaker's new Sorento SUV, company officials said.
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©2002 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.