Originally created 02/11/00

Parts supplier may to come to Aiken



AIKEN - A Mansfield, Ohio, auto parts supplier is expected to announce today that it will bring 100 new jobs to Aiken.

More details will be released during a 10 a.m. news conference at city hall. Expected to attend are representatives from Newman Technology, Mayor Fred Cavanaugh, officials from the Economic Development Partnership and county council Chairman Ronnie Young.

The company, which supplies Honda Motor Co. with mufflers, tailpipes and trim, will be located in Ventures Industrial Park, just south of the Aiken Municipal Airport. Newman also manufactures window moldings and door sashes for other automotive companies.

Few other details have been made public about the business. Newman officials and city leaders are not talking. Company spokesman Mark Williams did not return phone calls to his Ohio office Thursday.

But a member of Aiken city government did confirm Thursday that the manufacturer was coming, saying that the move represented a $10 million to $12 million initial investment.

Newman is one of 16 automotive companies in Mansfield. In 1987, the company opened at Mansfield Lahm Airport with less than a dozen associates. It now employs more than 400.

Today's announcement means that a second tenant will occupy space in the city's fledgling Ventures Park, which opened three years ago. When the 185-acre industrial facility opened, it faced heavy competition from Sage Mill, near Graniteville, and still does.

Ventures also doesn't yet have the infrastructure to make it viable for many companies. Roads, water, sewer and storm drainage still are not complete.

Reach Chasiti Kirkland at (803) 279-6895.