Gestamp, a Spanish multinational company specializing in the design, development and manufacturing of metal components for the automotive industry, is opening a new R&D center in Auburn Hills, Michigan today.
The facility will house robotic prototype assembly cells, a laser cell, a durability performance test lab and complementary metallurgical and metrology labs. Designed bearing its customers in mind, the R&D center ensures faster response and access to technical information required to meet automotive customers’ program needs.
As part of this new R&D center, Gestamp will focus on competencies ranging from basic research to joining technologies to engineering co-development engagement with customers, including the ability to conduct structural optimizations and vehicle crash simulations.
The center will also produce prototype assemblies and validate the assemblies for durability and structural performance measures. These developments will allow Gestamp to provide innovative lightweight solutions to their OEM customers in the fields of bodywork and chassis.
“Building solid, honest and lasting relationships with our customers is a cornerstone of our global approach,” said Francisco J. Riberas, chairman and CEO of Gestamp. “Our new R&D center in Southeast Michigan will enable us to work in close proximity with our U.S.-based OEM customers and co-develop industry-leading solutions to achieve lighter and safer vehicles.”
The Auburn Hills facility is part of Gestamp’s global R&D network, guaranteeing that innovations developed around the world are available locally with onsite engineering support. Gestamp operates 12 R&D centers worldwide including centers in France, the U.K., Spain, Brazil, India and Germany, among others.
The new R&D center signifies Gestamp’s commitment to growth in the U.S., its second largest market. In 2016 the company’s U.S. sales totalled $1.2 billion with more than 3,000 employees. Between 2012 and 2016 Gestamp has invested almost $500 million in the country.
The new Auburn Hills R&D facility will bring 64 new highly skilled jobs by the end of this year to Michigan where Gestamp has a strong industrial footprint with three plants and its U.S. headquarters. Total headcount in Michigan stands at 852 employees and the company is also building a new plant in Washtenaw County.
Gestamp to open its 100th plant Worldwide also in the US
In the U.S., Gestamp currently operates eight production plants in five states and recently celebrated its 100th plant worldwide with the opening of a new greenfield Class A stamping facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
As a Tier-1 supplier to Volkswagen, which has substantial operations in Tennessee, and other OEMs manufacturing in the U.S., the expansion in Chattanooga demonstrates Gestamp’s commitment to investing in markets where its customers are located.
As part of the Chattanooga compound, where Gestamp has manufacturing capabilities covering Class A chassis and bodywork, the company will also bring its innovative hot stamping technology to the region for the first time.
The process of hot stamping contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions while improving an occupant’s safety inside a vehicle. Gestamp leads the industry in hot stamping with more than 75 lines worldwide and the addition to Chattanooga represents its 14th and 15th lines in the U.S.
“Gestamp continues to expand its operations on a global scale,” commented Riberas. “The U.S. is our second largest market and will continue being one of our strategic growth areas. Therefore, we plan to continue investing here, creating jobs and providing best-in-class services to our customers.”