FCC planning new Berne expansion

    The FCC (Adams) automotive supply company in Berne, fresh off a recent expansion project which created four times the number of jobs originally anticipated, is growing again.
    Berne City Council on Monday evening approved 10-year tax abatements for real estate and new equipment for the Japanese-owned firm's second expansion in as many years at the Parr Road site.
    The latest growth at the clutch assembly production plant will include $5.5 million in site improvements and the addition of $20.1 million in new manufacturing equipment, according to FCC administrations manager Elizabeth Daniels. Included in the project will be the construction of a 57,000 square-foot manufacturing facility, to be added to the west end of the existing factory, and the addition of a 22,000 square-foot parking lot capable of accommodating 100 vehicles.
    The expansion is projected to add 30 new jobs.
    Decatur attorney Tim Baker, representing FCC in its request for tax abatement relief, said the company "met and exceeded projections" with its 2010 expansion project that originally called for the creation of some 40 new jobs. The company wound up adding nearly 180 new employees.
    "Now FCC intends to expand again. This is truly good news," said Baker.
    A public hearing was scheduled for 8 p.m. on May 9, during Berne city's council's next meeting, to hear comment on the company's plans to take advantage of Economic Revitalization Area (ERA) tax benefits in the already-established Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district.
    The company approached city council in May of 2010 seeking tax abatements for its $7.5 million expansion project which led to the construction of a 35,000 square-foot addition to the factory. Daniels said the previous expansion project was necessary because of two new contracts awarded to the plant by Ford Motors. Daniels said FCC (Adams) had been awarded the all-new 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty transmission contract, the volume of which is expected to be more than 200,000 units per year.
    The company, which opened its Berne plant in 2003, manufactures clutch assembly units and power train components for the auto industry. It’s primary customer is Ford Motor Co.