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BorgWarner to add 40 jobs in Dixon

$9.4 million investment in plant to happen over 3 years

Published: Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

DIXON – BorgWarner will invest $9.4 million in its Dixon plant over the next 3 years and add 40 jobs, according to a company news release.

The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based company, which makes components and systems for powertrains for passenger cars and on- and off-road commercial diesel vehicles, made the announcement Thursday morning.

Expanded production capacity will focus on environmentally friendly technologies to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy for passenger cars and commercial vehicles, the company said.

The plant, which has been in Dixon for 50 years, has a workforce of 210. The new jobs are expected to be for manufacturing and product engineering, supplier quality, supply chain, and technical and quality support, the release said.

Paddy Lange, the Dixon plant manager, said in the release that the city's infrastructure was a key to the investment.

Mayor Jim Burke said he hadn't talked with BorgWarner about the investment or new jobs, but the company has been doing well and expanding.

"That is wonderful, and it says a lot about the work ethic of the local people," Burke said "A lot of those employees have been working there for decades."

The "ripple" of the new jobs, which will be seen in the form of more people with jobs spending money locally, will be important for the city, the mayor said.

Bob White, the company's human resources manager, confirmed that the company would receive incentives from the state for the investment and new jobs, but didn't have specifics as of Thursday.

White said the $9.4 million investment would support the technology and equipment needed for production and expansion into commercial diesel automotive markets. 

"Dixon has a long history of success," he said. "When I say success, it's success in many different ways – in safety, in customer service, in quality. It's been a very successful plant for BorgWarner. And it continues to be a successful and high-performing plant for BorgWarner."

News of jobs coming to the Sauk Valley comes just 2 months after news that the area would be losing jobs.

In June, Caterpillar said it would close three Sauk Valley Anchor Coupling plants, one in Dixon, and consolidate the operations at a plant in Menominee, Michigan. The area will lose 170 full-time jobs when they leave the area, a process expected to begin at the end of this year.

BorgWarner has 60 facilities in 19 countries, including four in Illinois and 18 in the United States.

The 40 jobs will be added over 3 years, White said, and some of the production and technology positions could be advertised by the end of September. Some of the management postions will be available soon and posted on www.BorgWarenr.com's careers page.

As of 2:15 p.m. Thursday, two jobs for the Dixon plant were listed on the career page: a product line manager and a production leader.

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