All employees at Merit Technologies Worldwide are excited to take a fresh start in Canton as the owner Moon Gyu Kong has purchased a 115,000 sq ft facility in Canton and been installing the first hot stamping machine.
He is going to install two more by November of this year and three more in 2013. His new plant will manufacture high strength steel structural components mainly for GM vehicles.
His new investment in Wayne County is significant. He is investing $10 million to purchase the building and three hot stamping equipment this year. $5 million investment will be made next year again to equip more machines.
Now there are a lot things going on at MTW(Merit Technologies Worldwide). The roof of the building was not high enough for the stamping machine, so the roof had to be opened to fit the height of the machine.
Kong needs about 100 new workers for this plant. Administration Director Suk-Je Lee said “It is not easy to find qualified workers nowadays”. It’s because there are many new factories reopening in Michigan. Many unemployed workers went back to work. “That’s a good sign that shows the economy of Michigan is coming back”, Lee added.
But it costs more to hire people now. Health insurance cost is higher and labor cost has been raised 20~30% more than last year.
Merit Technologies Worldwide has a sister company called GNS in Holland Michigan. GNS is a tier 2 company that provides metal stamping, stamping design, assembly to Tier 1 companies, such as Magna, Metaldyne, Benteler Automotive, and etc.
Canton is a great location for MTW because it is closer to the major customers, GM and other Tier 1 companies.
“Michigan is a good place to start a business” says, Administration & Commercial Director Suk Je Lee, “Michigan has a good infra structure. One problem is, as a foreigner, we do not know the rules of Michigan. We are limited to understand the labor law, environment law or insurance law of Michigan”, he says “if state government can provide information about these, it would be easier for foreign companies to come to Michigan”.
General Manager Elie Mordovanaki wished the tax on plant equipment could be waived in Michigan. “It will be a big positive factor for many companies like us dealing with heavy equipment”, he added.
When this plant is fully operated, Kong is expecting $50 million in sales in five years. The building is big enough to install 12 stamping machines. “My dream will not be limited to the size of this building as we grow with local folks working together”, President Kong wished.