Automotive lighting specialist Varroc Lighting Systems opens its latest production facility in Tangier, Morocco, and an R&D office in Krakow, Poland.
The 183,000-sq.-ft. (17,000-sq.-m) greenfield factory is producing headlamps, taillamps and daytime running lamps for automotive customers working out of Morocco, Spain and France. Production began in early February.
The plant includes a 129,200-sq.-ft. (12,000-sq.-m) manufacturing facility, 32,300-sq.-ft. (3,000-sq.-m) administration offices and a 21,500-sq.-ft. (2,000-sq.-m) product development and engineering center featuring optics and electronics laboratories, product validation, and tooling maintenance and support.
Varroc says the facility will be expanded an additional 150,700-sq.-ft. (14,000-sq.-m) this year. The supplier anticipates the $51 million project will create 650 jobs by 2024.
Plymouth, MI-based Varroc has expanded its manufacturing footprint in Brazil, Bulgaria, Turkey and Vietnam since the beginning of 2018.
The R&D office in Krakow, meanwhile, is the company’s second large investment in Poland in recent months, following the announcement of a manufacturing plant in Niemce due to open in the third quarter.
The 14,300-sq.-ft. (1,325-sq.-m) office can accommodate more than 100 workplaces and will be responsible for developing all types of automotive lighting technologies, from standard halogen lamps to the most advanced matrix and laser lamps. An engineering center will focus on optics and electronics.
Along with the opening of the new office, Varroc plans to establish cooperation and partnerships with AGH University of Science and Technology and Krakow University of Technology.
“This location will allow us to further develop leading-edge products for our customers,” says Todd Morgan, senior vice president-product development. “Lighting is rapidly evolving into a complex electronic component on the vehicle. Mechanical and optical engineering will continue to play an important role in our development. However, we are aggressively looking to expand our capability in electronic hardware and software design.
“Our strategy is to integrate ADAS sensors into our products, and this will only accelerate this trend to support the needs of tomorrow’s autonomous and electric vehicles.”
– with Jim Irwin in Detroit