Governor Bob McDonnell and Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. today announced that IMS:GEAR Virginia Inc., one of the largest manufacturers of gear assemblies for the North American automotive market, will invest $35.5 million and create up to 80 new jobs in an expansion of its Virginia Beach operations. The new jobs will pay an average annual wage of $48,000. Virginia Beach successfully competed against a location in Georgia for the project.
According to McDonnell, “IMS:GEAR Virginia has thrived in Virginia Beach since its establishment there in 2000. This significant investment will allow for a larger facility and an additional manufacturing line to support a growing customer base of Tier 1 automotive suppliers throughout North America. The company continues to be a strong corporate partner to the commonwealth and a key component of the automotive industry niche that is present in Virginia.”
IMS:GEAR Virginia Inc. is a subsidiary of IMS:GEAR GmbH, headquartered in Donaueschingen, Germany, with United States headquarters in Gainesville, Ga. The company first opened its Virginia Beach facility in 2000 for the manufacture of metal and plastic gear assemblies used in automatic automotive seats. Sessoms visited the German headquarters earlier this year to help finalize the project.
“IMS:GEAR is one of the leading manufacturers of automotive gear assemblies in the world,” Sessoms said. “The company had a very attractive opportunity to take this expansion out of Virginia, but because of the quality of our local work force and the overall positive business environment that exists in Virginia Beach, the city was able to provide a viable option for them. Of course, the help of Governor McDonnell and his team was critical to keeping these jobs in Virginia.:
IMS:GEAR Virginia Inc. will move from its existing 40,000-square-foot building on Seahawk Circle into a new 111,000-square-foot building to be constructed on Progress Lane.
The new facility will support a growing customer base of Tier 1 automotive suppliers throughout North America.
“IMS:GEAR is proud to call Virginia Beach home of the production facility for horizontal drive mechanism for car seats,” said Guenter Weissenseel, president of IMS:GEAR Virginia Inc. “We have been producing parts here for the last 11 years with the support of the people, city and the state of Virginia. We are looking forward to growing as a company to provide work and prosperity to the local community. The positions we are creating are for self-motivated, energetic people with background in operating, maintaining and building of automated high-volume production equipment.”
The company will receive financial assistance from both the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Virginia Beach, based on the new investment and jobs being created. The assistance will include a $200,000 Governor’s Opportunity Fund Grant, $300,000 Virginia Investment Partnership Grant, Virginia Jobs Investment Program assistance for workforce training, and the Virginia Major Facilities Job Tax Credit program. The Virginia Beach Development Authority will take action on a local grant application at its Jan. 17 meeting.
The City of Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development and the company worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and CB Richard Ellis brokers Ashton Williamson and Worth Remick on the site search for this project. The Miller Group was selected by the company as its developer.
The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international business and industry that results in the creation of new capital investment and jobs that increase the per capita income in the community. The City of Virginia Beach is the most populous city in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a population of 434,000 and is the 42nd largest city in the United States. Virginia Beach has been recognized as having one of the 10 best economic development groups in the nation by Site Selection magazine. In 2006, Virginia Beach was named one of the 10 best big cities in America by Money magazine. In 2008, the Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council, one of only 25 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. In 2010, the Department won an Award of Excellence for its marketing efforts from the International Economic Development Council. For more information, visit www.yesvirginiabeach.com.