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At a glance
Shiloh Industries Inc.
Business: The manufacturer makes engineered metal products for the automotive, truck and industrial markets.
Founded: 1950
Subsidiaries: Include Shiloh Die Cast Midwest
Headquarters: Valley City, Ohio
Locations: In seven U.S. states and Mexico
Employees: About 2,000 across North America
Ownership: Publicly traded on the Nasdaq stock market
Fiscal 2013 revenue: $700 million

Move to lighter cars lifts supplier

Parts plant upgrades mean 150 area hires

Everyone wants to drop some weight – even automakers.

That’s good news for one Ohio-based supplier that specializes in lightweight parts that allow vehicles to get more miles to the gallon.

Shiloh Industries Inc. on Tuesday announced plans to invest $7.8 million and create 150 new jobs by 2018 as it upgrades and expands factories in DeKalb and Kosciusko counties.

The parent company of Shiloh Die Cast Midwest supplies General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and some foreign automakers, spokesman Max Muncey said. Increased demand is driving the expansion, he said.

The Cleveland-area company employs 86 in Auburn, where it operates a 120,000-square-foot factory at 1200 Power Drive. It also employs 107 in Pierceton, where it operates a 106,000-square-foot plant at 5 Arnolt Drive.

The investment includes renovations and new equipment for both locations. Company officials expect the factories to reach full, expanded capacity by 2016.

Shiloh officials didn’t specify how much money is earmarked for each factory, saying the breakdown might shift as needs change. But the Kosciusko Economic Development Corp. has reported that $3.3 million will be invested in the Pierceton plant, where 70 of the new jobs are expected to be created.

The Auburn location is projected to create 80 jobs.

Hiring begins this year, Muncey said. He didn’t provide a wage range for the jobs, which are mostly in production. Those interested in submitting an application should go online to to learn more.

Federal standards require American-made cars and light trucks to average 34.5 mpg by 2016. That requirement jumps to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Automakers are pursuing numerous avenues to bring up their numbers, including building cars that aren’t as heavy. An extra 100 pounds of weight can reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy by up to 2 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

Shiloh addresses that need by die-casting some parts in aluminum. The company’s products are used in emission, powertrain, structural, seating and other areas of vehicles.

“Customer demand has been through the roof for the last few years,” Muncey said.

The company’s fiscal 2013 sales of $700 million were a 20 percent gain over the prior year, according to a news release dated Dec. 20.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Shiloh up to $1 million in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans.

The cities of Auburn and Pierceton will consider additional incentives on the project.

Norm Yoder, Auburn’s mayor, and Armando Espinoza, president of the Pierceton Town Board, both welcomed the investment.

“We are appreciative that this operation is committed to increasing employment and in making capital improvements to the facility,” Espinoza said in a statement. “This operation is an important employer for the town of Pierceton and Kosciusko County.”