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Lear Building New $30M Plant Near Chicago

New site building seats for Explorer.

by on Nov.02, 2017

Lear broke ground on a $30 million plant to make seats for the Ford Explorer.

Lear Corp., a top supplier of seats and electrical systems, has started construction on a new $30 million seat manufacturing facility in Hammond, Indiana, that will produce seats for Ford Motor Co.’s new sport utility vehicle platforms, starting with 2020 model-year.

Plans call for seat production to begin in April 2019 at the plant, which isn’t far from Ford’s Chicago assembly plant where the Ford Explorer is now built. The plant employs approximately 875 workers, who will transfer from Lear’s existing plants in Hammond and Portage, Indiana.

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“We’re pleased to be able to combine our operations into a single modern facility, which will optimize our ability to deliver the highest-quality Lear seats to Ford Motor Co.,” said Ray Scott, executive vice president of Lear Corp. and president of Lear’s seating business. 

“The new site keeps our operations close to Ford, which is essential,” Scott added.

(Ford addressing exhaust fume concerns 1.4 million Explorer SUVs. For the story, Click Here.)

Michael Segvich, manager of Lear’s Hammond plant, said that Lear has outgrown its current 100,000-square-foot facility, which opened in late 1994 and employs about 575 workers. To keep up with demand, Lear in May 2015 moved part of its Hammond operations and nearly 300 employees 20 miles away to Portage.

The 30-acre parcel is two miles from Lear’s existing facility in Hammond, he noted.

(Click Here for more about SUVs making up half of U.S. sales.)

“The current plant in Hammond is landlocked, so expanding that facility is physically impossible,” said Segvich. “We also don’t want to interfere with current production, so constructing a new building is our best option.

“Lear’s ongoing relationship with Ford and the UAW in Hammond is deeply appreciated, and we are grateful for future opportunities.”

(To see more about Ford CEO Jim Hackett’s vision for the future, Click Here.)

Ford builds the Explorer at the Chicago plant as well as the Ford Taurus.

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