Aisin gets OK despite mistake

Aisin USA Mfg. in Seymour still plans to hire plenty of workers this year, but not as many as the company had first thought.

Company representatives attended Monday night’s Seymour City Council meeting to request tax abatement on a total investment of more than $31 million at both its Seymour plants over the next two years.

Those investments include real estate improvements and new manufacturing equipment to produce automotive components for new and existing vehicle models.

Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. said Aisin is projecting an increase in its workforce of 76 employees at Plant 1 at 1700 E. Fourth St. and nine new jobs at Plant 2 at 500 Burkart Blvd. for a total of 85 new employees.

“We are pleased to announce that Aisin continues to invest in our community,” Plump said.

Betsy Cornett, finance manager, explained a budgeting error had been made on statement of benefits forms the company filed with the city last week that resulted in the number of projected new jobs being inflated by 162 to 238.

The projects are actually part of a $100 million investment announced last August to expand Aisin’s manufacturing facilities in Seymour and add 100 new jobs over four years.

Cornett said the company is well over that mark when it comes to hiring.

With 1,772 employees total at both plants, Aisin is Jackson County’s largest employer.

The expenditures will allow Aisin to accommodate for changes in customer designs and new models including Toyota’s Sienna, Camry, Highlander, Corolla and Avalon lines, the Honda Odyssey and Chevrolet and Lexus models.

Aisin manufactures and supplies automotive components and systems including door frame components, latching systems and seating and trim molding.

Council approved the abatement requests by a vote of 6-0. Councilman Shawn Malone was absent from Monday’s meeting.

Abatement allows the company to phase in paying taxes on the expansion and new equipment over the next 10 years.

The projects are scheduled to begin June 1 and be completed in 2019.