Manufacturer for auto industry expanding for the 8th time in Fairfield: What they’re doing

Pacific Manufacturing in Fairfield, an automotive supplier, is planning to expand its operations. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Pacific Manufacturing in Fairfield, an automotive supplier, is planning to expand its operations. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Credit: Greg Lynch

Credit: Greg Lynch

Business in Fairfield typically over-delivers on new job projections, they say.

Pacific Manufacturing Ohio’s planned $20.4 million expansion project will be the company’s eighth since moving to Seward Road in 1999.

The expansion will expand its building at 8955 Seward by nearly 65,000 square feet, and construct a new near-58,000-square-foot building off Port Union Road, according to company officials and a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) agreement. In exchange for an eight-year, 75% property tax incentive on the assessed value of the expansion, the company agreed to create at least 30 new jobs.

But Pacific Manufacturing assistant general manager of purchasing Kim Hall said, “They always exceed that. They’re always conservative (with job projections).”

The company exceeded the new job projections promised in 2016.

Pacific Manufacturing moved to Seward Road in 1999, and in 2000 the company had 25 full-time employees. Heading into this eighth expansion project, Pacific Manufacturing has 991 full-time and temporary employees. According to the CRA agreement, they have 797 full-time employees.

Hall said the company typically over-delivers on projections of new jobs. Five years ago, when Fairfield and Ohio agreed to tax incentive packages, Pacific Manufacturing promised to add 65 more jobs to the then-600 jobs. Today, they are among Fairfield’s top five private employers with close to 800 full-time employees. They are the city’s second-largest industrial employer.

Pacific Manufacturing has three buildings on either side of Seward Road, and site preparation is underway for the expansion of 8955 Seward and the undeveloped land at the corner of Port Union and Seward roads. Hall said the company plans to start construction in July. The 64,616-square-foot addition and the new 57,750-square-foot building will allow for an expansion of the company’s welding and shipping processes.

Access between the buildings, however, would be by a bridge due to a creek separating the properties.

“It’s not the ideal situation, but we need to expand,” Hall said.

The plan is to fill the first six of the promised 30 new jobs by September 2022, according to the CRA agreement. The remaining 24 jobs are to be filled by April 2023. The anticipated future total payroll is expected to be around $38 million, according to the agreement.

In the early months of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the automotive industry saw factories go dark and employees wondering about their next paycheck. “A complete meltdown” was expected in the automotive industry, said Rory Carroll, editor-in-chief of the automotive industry news site Jalopnik to ABC News in December.

“That really hasn’t been the case,” he said.

Pacific Manufacturing’s primary customer, Toyota, has seen sales at pre-pandemic levels, said Takashi Nakagawa, Pacific Manufacturing senior coordinator of sales and production planning. He said their inventory is low and “now, they want to catch up.”

“Our company is catching up, also,” Nakagawa said.

RAV4 is the best seller for Toyota, Nakagawa said, and the carmaker is planning for increased production volume of that model. According to Fox Business, Toyota RAV4 ranked fourth among the top 10 vehicles sold in 2020 and was the top non-pickup truck.

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