BELVIDERE — An automobile interior company is the latest to follow the Jeep Cherokee to property near Fiat Chrysler Automotive's assembly plant.
Yanfeng Automotive Interiors will bring 400 jobs to Belvidere. The company is investing $28.1 million in a 336,000-square-foot building that's been under construction since July at 775 Logistics Drive in a new industrial park on land owned by Rockford-based The LandMark Group.
Yanfeng, which says it is the world's largest supplier of automotive interior components, will occupy the building next year.
Yanfeng’s facility to draw employees from throughout the area.
"It's very good for the region," said Jarid Funderburg, executive director of Growth Dimensions, a development agency that helps attract and retain jobs in Belvidere and Boone County.
Yanfeng Automotive Interiors is a joint venture between Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc. and Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems Co. Ltd. Yanfeng is a subsidiary of China's largest automobile manufacturer, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.
"We are pleased to be a part of the Belvidere community and support FCA in the production of the Jeep Cherokee," said Nathan Bowen, vice president and general manager, Americas, Yanfeng Automotive Interiors. "The opening of this facility further demonstrates our commitment to supporting our customers."
Fiat Chrysler Automotive is investing $350 million and adding 300 employees in Belvidere for Jeep Cherokee production, which will replace the Dodge Dart, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot on the assembly line.
Production of the Cherokee is moving here from Toledo, Ohio.