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Fuyao’s $300M expansion pushes investment to $1B

Nearly a decade ago, Fuyao made waves across the Dayton region with a substantial and strategic investment into the former General Motors plant that had shutdown in 2008 and laid off 1,400 workers in the process.

That initial investment, which established Fuyao Glass America, has resulted in the creation of nearly 2,000 jobs to-date and full operation within 1.8 million square feet of space in Moraine. The company is known to produce an annual output of four million sets of OEM auto glasses and four million pieces of ARG glasses when operating at full capacity, which has transformed the physical infrastructure and nurtured a continuing culture of collaboration and teamwork within the company.

The investment into infrastructure and personnel has paved the way for Fuyao’s growth in Moraine and resulted in a landmark announcement in 2022 that the
company would be expanding its facilities by 600,000 square feet in a $300 million investment. The investment, which will establish a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to produce coated glass, aligns with a soaring demand in the electric vehicle industry that continues to build as that industry grows.

“The expansion promises a symbiotic relationship characterized by job creation, economic growth, and opportunities for innovation, benefiting both Fuyao
Glass America, the local community in Moraine and the broader Dayton region,” said Amy Lei, vice president for Fuyao Glass America.

The 600,000-square-foot expansion will utilize advanced manufacturing equipment and processes to enhance Fuyao’s production capabilities and product range. The primary focus of the expansion is the manufacture of coated automotive glass, which involves the incorporation of cutting-edge glass coating methods that will enhance both the function and aesthetic of the product. The innovation of this process results in glass products offering superior optical clarity, heightened UV protection, improved anti-glare properties and increased durability. Fuyao plans to incorporate state-of-the-art robotics in the production process, which will further elevate precision and efficiency and ensure consistency and quality output with the product.

Many of the advanced manufacturing technologies Fuyao is investing in for the expansion will also enhance energy efficiency and minimize waste generation
— a proactive step toward addressing environmental concerns and taking sustainability into account. Energy efficiency has been a key focus for the company over the years, with upgrades in lighting, HVAC systems and the implementation of energy-saving technologies in their factory to reduce energy consumption overall, as
well as a focus on water conservation and emissions reductions to lessen environmental impact.

One of the biggest parts of the expansion is the 500 new jobs it is expected to create once construction is completed in 2025. Out of these 500 new jobs, approximately 50% of them will be designated for production workers. These positions will involve the hands-on manufacturing of coated glass and Fuyao plans to seek candidates who have expertise in production line operation, quality control and keen attention to detail. The remaining roles will be allocated to engineers, management and other necessary functions.

Labor force competitiveness remains a top priority for Fuyao with the expansion, with the company’s HR team committing resources year by year to provide on-site training programs to enhance and diversify technical skills, management capabilities and safety knowledge of its employees. Additionally, the company dedicated a $100,000 state-of-the-art training center spanning 450 square feet earlier this year. The facility is expected to benefit 1,000 employees each year. The $300 million expansion efforts have been aided by assistance on the local and county levels. At the end of last year, the city of Moraine granted the manufacturer a 12-year, 100% tax abatement. Under the abatement, Fuyao will be exempt from paying property taxes for the construction of the expansion. The project has also received $750,000 in funding from the Montgomery County ED/GE Committee.

By 2024, Fuyao’s total investment into the Dayton region will surpass $1 billion. Long-term, Fuyao’s vision for their presence in Dayton is to continue being a driving force for the local economy and community development by fostering and strengthening its relationship with the local community, supporting educational and training initiatives and creating more job opportunities. “While specific expansion plans or strategic objectives may evolve over time, Fuyao’s overarching goal is to be a catalyst for economic growth and progress in the Dayton region,” Lei said.

Fuyao Glass America is the third-largest manufacturing company and one of the 20 largest employers in the Dayton region, according to DBJ research. It currently employs more than 2,000 people in Moraine, where it has operated a 1.8 million-square-foot manufacturing plant since 2014.