Hair products manufacturer to permanently close Grand Rapids-area production plant, lay off 68 workersWritten by MiBiz Staff
CALEDONIA TWP. — A New York City-based producer and seller of hair care products plans to close a Grand Rapids-area production facility by the end of the year, resulting in nearly 70 permanent layoffs.
Shape CEO discusses EV transition opportunity, state incentives strategy, inclusion in Ottawa CountyWritten by Andy Balaskovitz
Mark White sees the massive disruption in the automotive industry caused by electric vehicles as an opportunity rather than a threat.
Gotion floats bigger battery plant plan as it awaits approvalsBy Kurt Nagl, Crain’s Detroit Business
Gotion Inc.’s multibillion-dollar electric vehicle battery factory proposal near Big Rapids has swelled by 1 million square feet and 200-300 additional jobs despite lingering uncertainty that the project will even happen.
GRAND RAPIDS — Tier 1 automotive supplier Gentex Corp. has hired roughly 500 new employees over the past two and a half months, making a major dent in the Zeeland-based company’s unfilled positions.
Ingrid Tighe brought more than a decade of experience in economic and workforce development to her new role as president of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, where she will help small and mid-sized companies adopt supply chain and automation strategies.
Gotion exec: $2.4 billion EV battery plant near Big Rapids ‘not a done deal’By Kurt Nagl, Crain’s Detroit Business
Gotion Inc. hopes to move forward with a $2.4 billion EV battery parts plant in the Big Rapids area, but it has a backup plan that could involve leaving the state if the deal falls apart, said Chuck Thelen, the company’s vice president for North American operations.
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Perrigo backs off on M&A to focus on integrating recent deals, reducing debtWritten by Mark Sanchez
GRAND RAPIDS — Perrigo Co. plc intends to pause M&A for the next couple of years to focus on improving performance and profitability as it works to reduce its debt load.
New statewide scholarship program aims to lure next generation of EV, mobility workersWritten by Andy Balaskovitz
State officials are partnering with major universities and auto-sector employers on a new statewide scholarship program aimed at developing talent in the electric vehicle and mobility space.
Amway 2022 sales dip on strong U.S. dollar, affiliate sale, withdrawal from RussiaWritten by Andy Balaskovitz
ADA — Direct-selling giant Amway Corp. reported a slight sales decline in 2022 from the prior year, citing the strength of the U.S. dollar, the sale of an affiliated nutritional supplement company and the company’s withdrawal from Russia.
Auxo Investment Partners’ acquisition of a West Michigan manufacturer has both in-state and national growth opportunities for the Grand Rapids private equity firm.
Gotion reassessing $2.4 billion factory footprint in Big Rapids areaBy Kurt Nagl, Crain’s Detroit Business
Chinese battery parts manufacturer Gotion Inc. is reassessing real estate plans for a $2.4 billion factory in the Big Rapids area after scrutiny from a township board.
Haworth eclipses pre-pandemic record with $2.5B in revenues, driven by new product salesWritten by Mark Sanchez
HOLLAND — Furniture manufacturer Haworth Inc.’s global sales reached a record $2.5 billion in 2022, driven in part by new products designed to help employers bring people back to the office and accommodate hybrid and remote work models.
Office furniture dealers see an unlikely resurgenceBy Kirk Pinho and Rachel Watson, Crain’s Detroit Business
It’s been nearly three years since the COVID-19 pandemic upended office markets around the country, including in Michigan.
Buell partners with West Coast motorcycle designer on new Super Cruiser modelWritten by Joe Boomgaard
CASCADE TWP. — Fresh off a new round of fundraising, Buell Motorcycle Co. has unveiled a partnership with a well-known industry designer to launch a new Super Cruiser production concept for the West Michigan-based high-performance brand.
Amazon supplier Speedrack Products Group sells to ESOP to preserve local ownership, cultureWritten by Mark Sanchez
WALKER — Speedrack Products Group Ltd. has become one of the latest West Michigan companies to transition to employee ownership.
Ford Motor Co. announced Monday plans to build BlueOval Battery Park Michigan, a $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant that would create 2,500 jobs in Marshall. But it wasn’t always destined for Michigan.
Language, child care, transportation: Gentex tackling key drivers of labor shortageWritten by Andy Balaskovitz
GRAND RAPIDS — Gentex Corp.’s recently announced plan for a satellite production facility in the city of Grand Rapids is the Tier 1 auto supplier’s latest phase of a multi-pronged effort at attracting talent.
Ford set to announce $3.5 billion EV battery plant in Marshall, sources sayBy Kurt Nagl & David Eggert, Crain’s Detroit Business
Ford Motor Co. will announce Monday details of a massive electric vehicle battery plant it has decided to build in Marshall, two people with knowledge of the company's plans told Crain’s.
Gentex agrees to pay $4M to resolve SEC charges involving employee bonusesWritten by Andy Balaskovitz
ZEELAND — Tier 1 automotive supplier Gentex Corp. has agreed to pay $4 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges involving the company’s alleged accounting failures with executive and employee bonuses.
GRAND RAPIDS — Auxo Investment Partners has acquired two manufacturers that produce custom wire harnesses, cable assemblies.
ROCKFORD — Not even a multi-year sponsorship deal with pop megastar Taylor Swift could right the ship for Keds, a flagging lifestyle footwear brand that Wolverine World Wide Inc. has owned for the last decade.
CHARLOTTE — Specialty vehicle manufacturer The Shyft Group Inc. plans to invest $16 million to expand its engineering and manufacturing capabilities in Charlotte to produce the company’s Blue Arc EV Solutions brand of electric commercial vehicles.
A valve supplier in Marshall is planning to lay off 81 employees through the end of September, according to a notice filed with the state.
GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Rapids Community College is building a first-of-its-kind automation and robotics manufacturing training center in West Michigan, thanks to a recently secured $1 million federal grant.
Port City Ventures invests in Rolar Products amid expansion to new Muskegon-area plantWritten by Mark Sanchez
MUSKEGON — Private equity and venture capital firm Port City Ventures LLC’s capital investment in Rolar Products Inc. will go to support further growth.
‘We need to be here’: Tier 1 auto supplier Gentex to open production facility in GRWritten by Andy Balaskovitz
GRAND RAPIDS — Ottawa County’s largest employer is opening a satellite production facility on Grand Rapids’ south side in hopes of better attracting talent from the city and delivering economic benefits to a historically disadvantaged neighborhood.
The Michigan Manufacturers Association is continuing a partnership with The Nature Conservancy in Michigan that offers resources and workshops for companies seeking to adopt environmental and clean energy strategies into their operations.
Steve Carlson joined Ludington-based plastic and foam product manufacturer FloraCraft Corp. in February 2000 when the company acquired the firm he had started with his father.
GR steel distributor enters stainless, aluminum industry with largest acquisition to dateWritten by MiBiz Staff
CASCADE TWP. — West Michigan flat-rolled carbon steel distributor Mill Steel Co. is expanding into the stainless steel and aluminum metal markets following the acquisition of distributors in Ohio and Illinois.
New RoMan Manufacturing president overseeing ‘unprecedented’ company growthWritten by Andy Balaskovitz
Nelson Sanchez took the helm at Grand Rapids-area industrial power systems manufacturer RoMan Manufacturing Inc. this month as the first non-family president in the company’s 42-year history.
GRAND RAPIDS — Williams Distributing Co., a Grand Rapids-based distributor of HVAC equipment and residential building products, has been acquired by a subsidiary of global manufacturer Daikin Industries Ltd.
New ventures, bankruptcies and batteries: The 10 most-read manufacturing stories of 2022Written by MiBiz Staff
West Michigan’s manufacturing sector experienced a mix of highs and lows in 2022, as several major ventures plan to bring in billions of dollars in new investments while other companies contended with inflation, supply chain disruptions and labor availability.
MillerKnoll, Steelcase expect flat to lower sales this quarter as order rates softenWritten by Mark Sanchez
MillerKnoll Inc. and Steelcase Inc. both expect flat to lower sales for the present quarter going into 2023 amid softer order rates.
Auto suppliers prepare for more slow growth, challenges, as forecast begins to brightenWritten by Joe Boomgaard
While automotive suppliers in West Michigan may hope to finally emerge from the “dark winter” of the last three years, the vehicle
production outlook for 2023 portends more challenges ahead, although some bright spots are beginning to dot the mid-term forecast.
Q&A: Continued need for manufacturing automation provides runway for growthWritten by Joe Boomgaard
A growing number of West Michigan manufacturers are having conversations about the role automation can play in helping mitigate their persistent and ongoing labor challenges, says Joe Dyer, president at Disher Corp., a Zeeland-based engineering, consulting and product development firm.
WALKER — Medical equipment manufacturer Tech Group Grand Rapids Inc. plans a $38.7 million expansion to “significantly expand production capacity” at its Walker facility.
Lear Corp. plans $112M expansion in SE Mich., Traverse City to grow EV componentsWritten by Andy Balaskovitz
Tier 1 automotive supplier Lear Corp. plans a $112.5 million expansion at three facilities in southeastern Michigan and Traverse City to support the manufacturer’s ongoing growth in the electric vehicle market.
Buell Motorcycle plans $6M round to invest in new products, add team membersWritten by Joe Boomgaard
CASCADE TWP. — The group behind the revival of high-performance brand Buell Motorcycle Co. continues to build out its team, add sales infrastructure and invest in new product engineering and development in West Michigan.
ROCKFORD — Wolverine World Wide Inc. will divest its Keds brand and Wolverine Leathers business, while also implement staff reductions, in an effort to drive cost savings in 2023.
WALKER — Automation solutions provider Axis Automation has announced a $5.7 million expansion in Walker that it expects could create up to 50 jobs.
PE-backed Burke Porter Group adds to life sciences portfolio with acquisition of Irish firmWritten by MiBiz Staff
ADA — Burke Porter Group is expanding its footprint to Ireland and bolstering its life sciences capabilities with the acquisition of a leading manufacturer of assembly products and storage solutions for the biomedical industry.
GRAND RAPIDS TWP. — Diversified construction, packaging and industrial product manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. has expanded its packaging division with the acquisition of a Texas firm.
PORTAGE — Pfizer Inc. plans to invest $750 million to expand production capacity in Portage, creating 300 jobs.
GRAND RAPIDS — Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing Inc. has acquired property near its Grand Rapids headquarters to support the contract manufacturer’s ongoing growth.
Startup racks up investments to scale battery manufacturing at Meadowbrook plant in HollandWritten by MiBiz Staff
HOLLAND — An equity investment from United Airlines Ventures could allow a startup advanced battery company to ramp up production in Holland via a partnership with automotive battery supplier Clarios International Inc.
CASCADE TWP. — Cascade Engineering Inc. has sold its powersports division to a private equity-backed firm, marking a second notable sale this year for the plastic injection molding manufacturer.
Milind Pant recently completed the next “logical step” in his experience as a global business executive when he, his wife and two sons were approved for U.S. citizenship. For the Amway Corp. CEO who grew up in the Himalayan foothills of India, that journey started about seven years while he was a Yum! Brands executive in Dallas.
Construction firms worry labor availability may disrupt major project pipelineWritten by Kate Carlson
Ahistoric influx of federal stimulus and infrastructure funding, combined with the state’s full-court press for large battery manufacturing plants, is on a collision course with a widespread construction labor shortage.