Alexander: DTR Tennessee Expansion "is a Credit and a Compliment" to Auto Supplier's Tennessee Employees

Says today’s announcement is “further proof that Tennessee is the right place for the auto industry”

Posted on March 22, 2016

TAZEWELL, Tenn., March 22, 2016 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said the announcement by DTR Tennessee that it is expanding its Tazewell plant by 66,300 square feet and adding at least 60 employees to its workforce is "further proof that Tennessee is the right place for the auto industry."‎

 “One-third of Tennessee manufacturing jobs are auto related and that would not be possible without the more than 900 suppliers that provide not just the parts for cars, but good jobs for Tennesseans," Alexander said. ‎"DTR is one of the best examples of that -- rubber products built by DTR workers in Tazewell are shipped to Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, Ford Subaru, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Chrysler and Jeep. Today's announcement is a credit and a compliment to the hard work and success of DTR's Tennessee employees." 

DTR Tennessee, Inc. is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Riko Rubber Industries which is based in Japan. Today, the company announced it will invest $9 million in its Tazewell facility—expanding the plant by 66,300 square feet and adding between 60-80 employees over two years. DTR Tennessee, Inc. is the third largest employer in Claiborne County and also has a manufacturing facility located in Greene County that employs over 900 people. 

Alexander, who worked as governor to bring Nissan's first plant to Tennessee, wrote about the relationship between Tennessee and Japan in a 1986 book called “Friends, Japanese and Tennesseans: A Model of U.S-Japan Cooperation.” In the book, Alexander wrote: “I like to say that tomorrow’s jobs are coming our way because Tennesseans still hold to yesterday’s values. … Our workers believe in working, and in doing quality work.” 

Tennessee continues to be recognized for its automotive sector. According to the Tennessee Department of Economic Development, there are over 900 automotive suppliers that have spread across 80 of Tennessee’s 95 counties. In 2015, Business Facilities ranked Tennessee #1 for Automotive Manufacturing Strength for the 5th time in six years.‎

After the announcement, Alexander toured the existing plant and the expansion site.

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