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Spain’s Gestamp Opens Michigan R&D Center

Madrid-based Gestamp Automocion SA has opened a research and development center —the metal parts supplier’s first such facility in the U.S.—in Auburn Hills, Mich.
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Madrid-based Gestamp Automocion SA has opened a research and development center —the metal parts supplier’s first such facility in the U.S.—in Auburn Hills, Mich.

The 37,000-sq-ft facility, which previously was occupied by Recaro Child Safety Systems, will be used to develop and test lightweight body and chassis systems. Gestamp plans to employ 64 people at the center, which media reports note is 36 fewer than the company originally planned.

The Auburn Hills facility will house robotic prototype assembly cells, a laser cell, a durability performance test lab and metallurgical and metrology labs. Researchers there will conduct crash and computer simulations, metal fatigue testing and prototyping.

Gestamp has 12 other r&d centers worldwide, including facilities in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Spain and the U.K. Two other facilities are said to be in the works.

The supplier operates eight production plants in the U.S., including a new stamping facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. Another facility in Washtenaw County, Mich., is due to open later this year. Gestamp says it invested $500 million in the U.S., its second-largest market after Germany, between 2012 and 2016. The company posted global sales of €7.5 billion ($8.4 billion) in 2016.

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