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Stanley Electric plans new plant in London

By: Dan Gearino of the Columbus Dispatch

Stanley Electric US Co., a manufacturer of automotive lighting, is building a new plant in London that will bring 150 new jobs.

The new plant will be across the street from the company's North American flagship, which employs about 970 people.

"We were looking at different sites and eventually decided we wanted to expand here in London," said Mark Cowan, the company's executive vice president.

Construction is scheduled to begin this year and be complete by early 2016, he said. The project will cost about $82 million.

The new plant will be about 600,000 square feet, almost as large as the existing one, which is about 650,000 square feet.

Stanley Electric, with headquarters in Tokyo, is a key supplier for Honda, Nissan and other automakers. It has been in London since 1981.

In addition to lighting systems, the company makes climate control units and displays for cars and motorcycles.

"Stanley Electric US has been an outstanding partner to the London community for more than three decades," David Eades, London's mayor, said in a statement. "We're ecstatic the company has made a commitment to extend that partnership for years to come, and excited to watch its continued growth in central Ohio."

Information was not immediately available about state or local aid the project may be receiving.

The company chose to build across the street because there was no available land next to the existing plant, Cowan said.

When asked if Stanley Electric considered leaving London, he said that the company's local managers are committed to the region, but that executives in Japan are always monitoring the costs of Ohio compared to other locations.

"We want London to be our home base in North America, and we were fortunate to win that argument," he said.

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