One of the world’s leading automotive parts suppliers, Continental Automotive Systems announced its $113 million investment expanding its operation at its Seguin plant, adding 300 jobs over the next five years.
Michelle Culver, the company’s spokeswoman, said this will be the plant’s 40th year in Seguin. She said initially, the plant was owned by Motorola until it was purchased in 2006 by Continental based in Hanover, Germany.
Since then, she said, the plant’s payroll has doubled to 1,600 employees who build engine control systems, the engine computers found in one of every five vehicles in the U.S.
Scott Williams, the plant manager, said 300 new employees will make emissions sensors, currently produced in only Asia and Europe.
He said the jobs that will pay on average about $36,000 a year, almost went to one of its multiple locations in Mexico.
“Made in the U.S.A is something I’m very proud of,” Williams said. “Anytime me and my team can make a contribution to save a few jobs for our great country, it makes us all proud.”
In order to compete with lower wages in Mexico, Terry Trevino, director of economic development in Seguin, said Continental was offered an aggressive incentive package using $1.2 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund, $600,000 from the Seguin Economic Development Corporation, and a $500,000 workforce grant to offset training for low-to-semi-skilled workers.
“The funds will actually help them get their GED if they don’t have that or the necessary skills,” she said.
On top of that, Trevino said the Seguin City Council and the Guadalupe County Commissioners Court offered Continental a partial property tax abatement “starting at 80 percent and declining five percent every year for the next five years.”
By adding even more employees, Trevino said Continental will be Seguin’s largest employer, surpassing Caterpillar that now has a large new plant in the city.
“Yes, they actually will be larger than Caterpillar,” Trevino said. “So hopefully that will encourage Caterpillar to continue to grow.”