New auto supplier coming to Oxford; plant could mean 75 jobs

From the Anniston Star:

A Canadian-based automotive supplier plans to open a plant in Oxford and hire at least 75 workers starting in April.

The Calhoun County Economic Development Council announced Wednesday that Kobay Enstel-South, LLC would be opening a facility between April and May. Officials said the company would use a building owned by the council and hire workers over the next three years.

“Our mission is to bring jobs to Calhoun County,” said Larry Deason, chairman of the council. “These are the kind of skilled labor jobs that we seek, as they match our workforce profile and strengthen our position as a player in Alabama’s growing automotive industry.”

Kobay produces stamped metal vehicle parts for the automotive industry, such as seat components. According to its website, more than 70 percent of its products are made for Honda, which has a car manufacturing facility in nearby Lincoln.

The company will lease the council’s 60,000 square-foot speculative building on McIntosh Road for the next 13 years. A speculative building is a basic structure that a company can quickly renovate to its needs.

“The beauty of a spec building is it gives us a real good leg up on meeting a company’s needs,” said Don Hopper, executive director of the council.

The Alabama Department of Commerce brought the company to Calhoun County after it struggled to find a suitable spot in the region. Greg Canfield, secretary for the Department of Commerce, said in a Wednesday press release that the spec building was key to Calhoun County becoming Kobay’s site choice.

“Kobay Enstel wants to start production during the first quarter, so the EDC’s portfolio of spec buildings puts Calhoun County on the short list and made this worthwhile project possible,” Canfield said.

Hopper noted that the council had property available so the Kobay can double the size of the building if it needs to expand and hire even more workers.

“They wanted to make sure they could do that,” Deason said of the expansion capability.

In a Wednesday press release, Gavin Galansky, president of Kobay, said the company was thrilled to become part of the Anniston-Oxford community.

“We are excited about the opportunity for growth and expansion in the South,” Galansky said.