Florida-based Universal Trailer Corp. has broken ground on a 200,000 square-foot facility in Bristol. The manufacturer, which already has an operation in the Elkhart County town, says the project will create around three dozen jobs and retain more than 130.
The Goshen News reports the total investment in the project is more than $20 million.
The company says the investment is split between facility and technology, including "advanced manufacturing techniques not currently used in the cargo trailer industry."
UTC announced plans for the new operation in the spring after choosing Bristol over "various" potential U.S. sites bidding for the location. Chief Executive Officer Terry Carlson says "a project of this size and scope attracts attention and reflects our commitment to the trailer industry. We were heavily recruited by other states to relocate our new facility. In the end, it was the quality and dedication of the Elkhart County workforce that was the overarching reason to stay and build our new plant right here in Bristol."
The company says the technology will lead to greater efficiencies. Richard Pflegling, a vice president in UTC’s manufacturing side, says it will "greatly improve our quality, output and working environment for our employees. We are basically investing in a new manufacturing model. This is a big step in bringing a more efficient solution to cargo trailer manufacturing. It will greatly improve our service capabilities and product offering to our dealer network and end-users."
UTC produces horse, livestock, ATV, motorcycle, snowmobile, racecar, custom car and equipment trailers.
The 43-acre site is near the Indiana Toll Road and the company says it will be built with future expansion in mind.
As the recreational vehicle and trailer industry continues to get back on its feet, Bristol has also been gaining momentum. In February 2014, Minnesota-based portable sanitation equipment supplier Satellite Industries Inc. announced a nearly $7 million investment in a new Bristol plant that could create 70 jobs in the community by 2017.