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Shiloh expands aluminum output for southern automakers

Shiloh Industries plans to open an auto parts plant in Clarksville, Tenn., this month to continue its expansion of North American aluminum-casting capacity.

The Valley City, Ohio, supplier has invested $20 million to retool a brownfield plant formerly owned by Contech Castings to supply automakers in the Southeast.

The Clarksville plant has begun hiring 150 new workers to produce an assortment of lightweight chassis, body-in-white and powertrain parts, says Shiloh CEO Ramzi Hermiz.

He declined to identify the new operation’s specific customers and products, but notes that Shiloh has a growing volume of business with both Nissan and Volkswagen, which operate auto plants in Tennessee.

Shiloh also supplies BMW, Magna and ZF in the vicinity.

The company is expanding its capacity for aluminum casting in the United States, Mexico and Europe in response to the industry push to convert stamped steel components into lighter-weight aluminum in their bid for improved fuel-economy.

Hermiz said Shiloh is considering additional investment at Clarksville to install production tooling for parts made out of light-weight magnesium.

Clarksville’s first product will be a die-cast shock tower that will replace an existing stamped-steel shock tower.

“The transition to structural aluminum die-cast components around the industry is significant,” Hermiz says. “It’s happening in all makes and models. There’s a fair amount of pent-up demand.”

Shiloh also operates a steel-stamping parts plant near Clarksville in Dickson, Tenn. Hermiz says Shiloh’s steel parts business is also continuing to grow due to new innovations in lighter-weight steel production.

Shiloh ranks No. 75 on the Automotive News list of North America’s 100 largest suppliers, with OE sales of $700 million in its 2013 fiscal year.


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