Chinese company announces North American headquarters in Lincoln Co. | Business
DENVER, NC (WBTV) - Gov. Bev Perdue joined executives from RATO Power Co Ltd. in announcing that the company will locate its North American headquarters in Lincoln County on Thursday.
RATO manufactures ATVs, motorcycles, water pumps, generators, and general purpose engines used primarily for outdoor power equipment. The company is expected to create as many as 40 jobs with the location of the North American headquarters to Denver. This will be RATO’s first facility outside of China.
“Creating jobs is my top priority,” Gov. Perdue said. “North Carolina continues to attract globally competitive companies because of our highly ranked business climate and our tremendous workforce. We welcome these new jobs and the commitment to North Carolina by RATO, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
RATO’s global headquarters is located in Chongqing, China and was founded in 2007. In January of this year, RATO acquired Denver Global Products based in Denver, N.C. Roger Leon, the president of Denver Global, will become the president of RATO North America.
The initial 40 jobs will be senior executives and senior sales staff according to Leon, but it won't stop there he said. Manufacturing will likely move from China to the United States as early as this fall.
"Eventually all products sold by us here will be manufactured in North America," Leon said.
China has money to invest and with shipping costs rising with the price of energy, it makes better business sense to manufacture the product closer to the customer and the United States is a major customer.
The manufacturing facility could initially employ 500 people.
"Eventually it could be up to 1000 or 1500 employees," he said.
No decision has been reached as to where that manufacturing facility will go but Leon said North Carolina is in the lead in the competitive race to get the plant. Local economic development officials say there are plenty of vacant manufacturing buildings that could be transformed into a plant for RATO.
At the local employment security commission, people who were there thursday looking for job prospects said the idea of a major manufacturing facility coming to Lincoln County or one nearby would be "A blessing to the area." "I'm hoping, I'm hoping," said Eddie Gladden.
Officials said even if the manufacturing facility does not come to Lincoln County, just having the North American headquarters for RATO will be a boost because of salaries and investments. "Any money flowing into our local economy is a good thing for the future," said Crystal Gettys of the Economic Development Commission.
RATO currently supplies customers in more than 100 countries. The company produces about 1 million units of general purpose engines and 100,000 units of motorcycles and ATVs annually.
Other partners who assisted with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, Lincoln County, and the Lincoln County Economic Development Association.
Through Gov. Perdue’s JobsNOW initiative, the state continues to work aggressively to create well-paying jobs, train and retrain its workforce, and lay the foundation for a strong and sustainable economic future.
For more information about RATO Power Co., please visit www.rato.cc.
Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.
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Courtesy of: Century 21 Town & Country
Courtesy of: Century 21 Town & Country