Ohio attracting foreign direct investment from international manufacturers
International manufacturers attracted to Ohio's skilled workforce, plentiful supply of cheap natural gas and geographic advantages have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign direct investment to expand or open new headquarters in the state. Companies in the auto supply chain have been particularly active. In 2016, Ohio was home to more than 3,500 international establishments representing 45 countries. These businesses employ more than 224,000 Ohioans, giving Ohio the seventh-largest international employment rate in the country. Some examples:
- In 2014, The Fuyao Glass Industry Group purchased 1.4 million square feet of a closed GM assembly plant outside Dayton. Fuyao invested $700 million and now employs 1,600 hourly workers at the plant, more than GM employed there before it closed the facility. It is the largest "greenfield" Chinese investment in the U.S., meaning that the company established a toehold in the U.S. through expansion rather than acquisition.
- In November 2016, Topre America, whose parent company hales from Japan, opened the doors to a $46.5-million plant expansion in Springfield, Ohio. The new 174,000-square-foot facility specializes in stamping and high-strength steel production, both of which are essential to manufacturing light-weight vehicles that can withstand a crash while still maintaining fuel efficiency.
- Also in November 2016, the Schaeffler Group, a Germany-based automotive supplier, opened the doors to a $60-million capital investment to expand its facility in Akron, Ohio. The 91,000-square-foot addition to an existing plant, will be used for manufacturing and additional office space. The expansion will create 250 jobs.