- Largest glass manufacturing group by sales volume in the world
- Moraine facility supplies glass to all major automotive manufacturers, including Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai and GM, as well as aftermarket companies like Safelite for repairs
- At capacity, Moraine plant will supply 4 million sets of OEM glass for vehicles
- $13.5 billion in revenue globally in 2015
- 21,833 employees globally
- Awarded GM’s “OEM Supplier of the Year” 5 years in a row (2011-2015)
When Chinese-based glass manufacturer Fuyao Glass Industry Group decided to expand to the United States, company officials were reliant on the local government and economic development organizations to help navigate the process of site selection.
“It was absolutely critical to have economic development partners on our side,” said Rebecca Ruan-O’Shaughnessy, director of legal affairs for Fuyao Glass America. “Especially when we first came, they were the only people we knew. They were and they still are our safety net in many ways.”
Meeting market demand with aggressive timelines
Predicting an opportunity in the rebounding auto market, Chairman Cho Tak Wong needed to act fast with site selection to get a manufacturing plant up and operational in the country to be able to capitalize on the market. Fuyao deviated from its normal strategy of targeting greenfield sites, to looking for an existing facility that could be quickly renovated for production.
“The Chairman has a great vision and he has been amazing in terms of predicting the market,” O’Shaughnessy said. “He saw the potential uptick in the U.S. auto market, and he felt like we really needed to be in a somewhat complete stage to be able to respond to it.”
After looking at several sites throughout their site selection process, officials at the company zeroed in on a brownfield location in Moraine, Ohio, a former General Motors Assembly plant, to be the first U.S. site of Fuyao Glass America, the American arm of the successful glass manufacturing company.
“If we would have had to build everything brand new, even if we saw the market demand but we couldn’t produce, we would have missed that golden opportunity,” O’Shaughnessy said. “So that’s what we did, and we were very successful.”
With the help of local economic development and utility partners throughout the state of Ohio and locally in the Dayton region, Fuyao was able to exceed their timeline goals and become operational in time to take advantage of the changing market. The company was able to land orders from General Motors, Chrysler and Hyundai because of how quickly they were able to begin production.
Community 'soft infrastructure' key to success
The assistance provided by the local economic development organizations like the City of Moraine, Dayton Development Coalition and their utility partners was critical in helping the company meet and exceed its goals, O’Shaughnessy said.
Benefits like that played a key role in helping Fuyao Glass choose the Moraine site in the first place, O’Shaughnessy said. It’s natural for site selectors to look at things like geography, utilities, logistics and potential work force—all of which Fuyao Glass feels comfortable and confident with in Moraine—but what is crucial and critical to a successful, growth-focused operation are the soft assets of a community, she said.
“You need to look at the state government,” O’Shaughnessy advised. “How much are they willing to put in this particular community? You have to look at the local economic development organizations. Are they just reactive or are they proactive? That’s critical.”
There are many things when you just want to go fast, that you miss, O’Shaughnessy said.
You need to have people in the community who really have your success as their best interest, so they look out for you,” she said. “Those are the soft infrastructures you need to have in place to ensure your success… You really have to be observant. Look at the community, and look at whether or not there is a fit there.”
Fuyao in the News
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