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Crossville’s Ficosa scores first UC VW supplier contract

Beverley Nash
Thursday, Jan 14, 2010

One of Crossville’s largest employers, Ficosa North America Corp., is the first company in the Upper Cumberland region to successfully secure a contract to supply parts for Volkswagen automobiles produced in Volkswagen’s $1 billion Chattanooga facility.

Ficosa, formerly Delbar Products Inc., will produce exterior passenger and driver-side mirror systems for the new mid-sized sedan that is being designed exclusively for the North American market, according to company officials.

“Nationally, Volkswagen has been a client of Ficosa for many years, but this will be the first contract out of the Crossville facility,” said Bruce Boyce, director of operations. “We have previously only worked with the big three (U.S.) automakers.”

The contract was signed four months ago and is said to be for a “significant” amount, though Boyce was unable to discuss details under the terms of the agreement.

This is welcome news for the company, which like so many others has been affected by the bankruptcies of Chrysler and General Motors. It is also great news for Cumberland County residents who are still experiencing unemployment at a double-digit rate.

Earlier this year, German-based Volkswagen announced plans to build a 2-million-square-foot facility that is designed to produce an initial 150,000 cars a year. It has since added 43,000 square feet to the planned assembly area of 775,000 square feet. The company had already bolstered the size of the paint shop. In November, the company announced it also had plans to install the equipment necessary to build Audi models at the plant.

Rearview mirrors produced by Ficosa for the automotive industry are equipped with miniaturized antennae that integrate radio, digital audio broadcasting telephone and global positioning system (GPS) antennae.

Ficosa employs approximately 100 workers at its Crossville plant. It acquired Delbar Products, which was formerly headquartered in Pennsylvania, after the death of Delbar’s founder. Ficosa International S.A. is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. The company was founded in 1941, and operates production, engineering and commercial offices in 19 countries in Europe, North America, South America and Asia.

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