FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2008

Gordon Hickey
www.governor.virginia.gov
(804) 225-4260


Rena Sharpe
Westport Corporation
(502) 425-2103 x226
Christie Miller
VEDP
(804) 545-5805
GOVERNOR KAINE ANNOUNCES NEW ASSEMBLY PLANT IN CITY OF ROANOKE
-Automotive components company to create 60 new jobs-


RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that Westport Corporation, a Kentucky based automotive components company, will invest approximately $3 million to open an assembly plant in the City of Roanoke. The company will occupy the 203,000-square-foot former Smurfit-Stone building. The new facility, which will assemble axles for the Volvo Heavy Truck plant in Dublin, will employ 60 people. Virginia successfully competed with West Virginia for the project.

“The Roanoke Valley’s impressive automotive industry cluster continues to grow with the addition of Westport Corporation,” Governor Kaine said. “The company’s new plant will be in close proximity to its customer base and will provide 60 strong job opportunities for the region. The existing facility meets Westport’s needs, and reutilizing the former Smurfit-Stone building will continue the revitalization of the City of Roanoke.”

Founded in 1986 in Louisville, Westport began operations as a just-in-time facility for Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant. Since then the company’s product offerings have expanded to include modular assembly and sequencing for various automotive components including the front steer axle modules for commercial vehicles, recreational vehicles and tag/pusher axles used mainly on construction vehicles.

“This is an important move for the company,” said Rena Sharpe, vice president of operations for Westport. “We are pleased to be working with Volvo and to be operating in the Roanoke Valley. This building fits our needs and we are impressed with the region’s business climate.”


The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Roanoke and the Roanoke Valley Economic Development Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

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