Van Hool NV will establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Morristown, TN and create nearly 640 jobs over the next five years. The family-owned Belgian manufacturer of buses, coaches and industrial vehicles, plans to invest more than $47 million to construct an approximately 500,000-square-foot facility in Morristown’s East Tennessee Progress Center, a Select Tennessee Certified Site.
“We’re excited to announce the next step of the global growth plans of the Van Hool Group here in Morristown, Hamblen County, Tennessee,” said Van Hool CEO Filip Van Hool. “The investment of more than $47 million reaffirms the more than 30-year presence of Van Hool in the U.S. market. Since 1987, we have supplied more than 10,000 vehicles in North America. Today, we’re really looking forward to building a state-of the-art bus factory in Morristown to supply the entire North American market with high quality buses and commuter coaches for transit agencies from 2020 onwards.
“The presence of highly-regarded technical schools and well trained workers in Hamblen County, together with the support and cooperation of all local parties involved, convinced the Van Hool executive board to make the largest investment outside Belgium in Van Hool’s 71-year history,” he continued. “Thank you, Morristown, Hamblen County and Tennessee. We’re really looking forward to working together with you on this great project both for the local community and Van Hool.”
Van Hool designs and manufactures approximately 3,000 commercial vehicles and 1,400 buses and coaches annually. Van Hool’s commercial vehicle department produces a comprehensive range of semitrailers, road tankers, tank and bulk containers, and container chassis. Van Hool operates production facilities in Koningshooikt, Belgium, where it is headquartered, and Skopje, Macedonia. The company employs approximately 4,450 employees worldwide.
“Van Hool’s decision to establish its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Morristown and create more than 600 jobs underscores the robust pro-growth environment of job creation we’ve fostered in Tennessee,” said Governor Bill Haslam. “Tennessee is a leading destination for foreign direct investment and because of global businesses like Van Hool, Tennessee will lead the nation in high quality jobs opportunities.”
“Van Hool is an exceptional company and I’m pleased this third-generation, family-owned business has decided to bring more than 600 well-paying, family-wage jobs to East Tennessee,” said Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe. “Tennessee’s skilled workforce, central location and higher education programs such as the Tennessee Promise continue to attract world-class international companies like Van Hool to our state. Since 2011, foreign-owned businesses have pledged to invest more than $12.5 billion to expand or establish operations in Tennessee, creating more than 51,500 job opportunities for Tennesseans.”
At the new plant, Van Hool will manufacture public transit and commuter vehicles for U.S. transit agencies. Construction of the facility will begin later this year. Van Hool anticipates the facility will be operational in the first quarter of 2020.
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