“Today is a very exciting day for Lear and the city of Hammond,” said Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott. “I’m very proud that Lear chose Hammond for the location of its new facility, and that it will remain a vital part of our city.”
November 1, 2017- Lear Corporation broke ground today on a new 240,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Hammond. According to a statement from the company, the plant will make seats for the new Ford SUV vehicles. The state of the art facility will combine operations from Hammond and Portage. The new plant will open in 2020 and will be over twice the size of the current Hammond Lear plant.
“We’re pleased to be able to combine our operations into a single modern facility, which will optimize our ability to deliver the highest-quality Lear seats to Ford Motor Company,” said Ray Scott, executive vice president of Lear Corporation and president of Lear’s seating business. “The new site keeps our operations close to Ford, which is essential. Lear’s ongoing relationship with Ford and the UAW in Hammond is deeply appreciated, and we are grateful for future opportunities. Crown Enterprises has also been a good partner in this process and has helped make this possible.”
Jill Caruso, global vice president for Lear’s Ford seating group, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., Michael Segvich, Hammond plant manager for Lear Corporation, and Michael Samhat, president of Crown Enterprises, which owns the 30-acre parcel, located two miles from Lear’s existing facility in Hammond, also provided comments.
Segvich, who grew up in Hammond and began working on the production line at the Lear plant in 1995, noted that supporting the communities where Lear does business is a Company core value. “We wanted to stay in Hammond, but we know space in the city is hard to find,” said Segvich. “As we were exploring options, we were very fortunate that this land was available for lease.”
Segvich said that Lear has outgrown its current 100,000-sq.ft. facility, which opened in late 1994 and employs about 575 workers. To keep up with demand, Lear in May 2015 moved part of its Hammond operations and nearly 300 employees 20 miles away to Portage.
“The current plant in Hammond is landlocked, so expanding that facility is physically impossible,” said Segvich. “We also don’t want to interfere with current production, so constructing a new building is our best option.”
The Hammond Redevelopment Commission approved a $4 million incentive to support Lear’s $30-million capital investment at the site, which includes the sub-assembly and final assembly of automotive seats. The Lear facility is the first major new plant built in Hammond since 2013.
“Today is a very exciting day for Lear and the city of Hammond,” said McDermott. “I’m very proud that Lear chose Hammond for the location of its new facility, and that it will remain a vital part of our city. We are pleased to have established a good relationship with a company that has demonstrated it supports the communities where it does business. This project will provide opportunities for Hammond residents and an overall positive impact on our local economy.”