An automotive industry supplier that opened its first U.S. manufacturing campus this year in Ridgeville said it will spend $40 million to expand the plant, citing increasing demand for its products.
Sundaram-Clayton Limited makes aluminum cast products for Charleston-area manufacturers such as Cummins, Wabco and Mercedes-Banz Vans, as well as dozens of customers nationwide.
The 78,000-square-foot expansion on 50 acres off Interstate 26 will create 100 jobs in addition to the India-based company's previously announced plans to hire 130 people over five years. It brings Sundaram-Clayton's total investment at the site to $90 million.
"The continued strength of the U.S. economy has led to an increase in demand for our products and, thus, the expansion of the existing manufacturing base in South Carolina," Lakshimi Venu, the company's managing director, said in a statement.
The additional space will make room for new equipment that will allow the plant to increase its capacity. Hiring for the new positions will begin during the second quarter of 2019.
Jay Byars, chairman of Dorchester County Council, said Sundaram-Clayton "has made a tremendous impact on our community, and we are already seeing its effects," adding the company's expansion "is a testament to their commitment and confidence in their initial investment."
Sundaram-Clayton is part of the $6.5 billion TVS Group of businesses and is India's eighth-largest auto parts and equipment company with a market cap of $1 billion. Sundaram-Clayton's global sales topped $2.4 billion in fiscal 2018 and the company recorded a profit of $45.8 million.
The company is an example of the growing investment foreign businesses are making in South Carolina, said Bobby Hitt, the state's Commerce Secretary. Since 2011, foreign-based companies have invested more than $19 billion in South Carolina, accounting for 42,000 jobs or about 7 percent of the state's workforce.
Sundaram-Clayton is located in the Ridgeville Industrial Campus, a roughly 700-acre industrial park at the intersection of U.S. Highway 78 and S.C. Highway 27. The park, served by Norfolk Southern Railway, is near the new Volvo Cars manufacturing campus and about 28 miles from the Port of Charleston.