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Indian manufacturer picks Sanford for electric vehicle parts plant, bringing hundreds of jobs

RALEIGH – Bharat Forge, which is part of India-based $3 billion industrial conglomerate Kalyani Group, will invest $170 million to build a manufacturing plant in Sanford, creating around 304 jobs.

The focus of the facility will be manufacturing parts for electric vehicles. It will be part of a larger manufacturing center that will bring as many as 460 jobs to Lee County by 2025.

A variety of state and local tax incentives — a package estimated to be in the millions — helped land the project for Sanford, Lee County and the state.

“Global industrial manufacturer Bharat Forge is making its largest overseas investment in Sanford because our quality workers along with our other resources will help drive demand for their products,” said Gov. Roy Cooper at a formal announcement with the company and local officials at the Governor’s Mansion on Tuesday afternoon.

Local officials appear at the Governor’s Mansion along with Gov. Roy Cooper for the official announcement.

Although not the auto factory the state has long sought, it does fit into vehicle manufacturing.

Bharat Forge’s project will create a variety of job functions at the plant including craftspeople, machine operators, and technicians. While salaries will vary by position, the average wage will be $47,056. The current Lee County average wage is $41,567.

Michael Smith, CEO of the Sanford Area Growth Alliance, coordinated the negotiations along with state economic development officials. He said the project is a result of “open for business agenda.”

“Project Forge” was the name for the plant negotiations which have been underway for months.

Added North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland: “This project confirms North Carolina’s strength as one of the top destinations for foreign investment in the United States. Companies representing more than 40 countries have located operations here, thanks to the many business advantages offered by our state.”

Bharat Forge, a 53-year-old company, describes itself as “the world’s largest forging company and amongst one of the best aerospace forging companies and automotive forging company; we have transcontinental presence across ten manufacturing locations spread across India, Germany, Sweden, France and North America.”

The news is the second large jobs project for the Sanford area in recent weeks. Pfizer said last month that it would invest $500 million in its campus there and add 300 jobs.