Sunroof company Inalfa to build Cherokee plant, employ 300

Inalfa Roof Systems, a Dutch company that supplies sunroofs and other roofing to automakers, will open a $17.1 million plant in Cherokee County next year that will employ 300 workers, Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday.

The plant, which is expected to be operational in January, will be built off I-75 at Cherokee 75 Corporate Park. The plant will provide auto roofing to Hyundai Kia, Ford, General Motors, Volvo, Chrysler Group and BMW Group.

“Our central location in the Southeast, deep workforce resources and logistics infrastructure have attracted well over 300 companies and continue to give the state a competitive advantage in this manufacturing sector,” Deal said in announcing the plant.

Inalfa will be hiring in engineering, operations and supply chain, purchasing and will be seeking manufacturing associates. Hiring for these positions will begin in October and continue through second quarter 2015 until all lines are installed and the plant is fully operational.

Inalfa’s global headquarters is in Venray, the Netherlands. Danny Colaris, vice president of North American operations for Inalfa, said the company conducted a four-year search for a plant location before deciding on Cherokee. The plant will be Inalfa’s fourth in the U.S. and first in the Southeast. North American headquarters is located in Michigan.

Georgia’s major automotive presence includes Kia Motor Corp. in West Point, and North American headquarters for Porsche in Atlanta and BBS in Braselton. The state is also home to major auto parts suppliers and other vehicle-related enterprises.

Earlier this month, Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corp., the world's largest maker of of all-terrain vehicles, opened a second assembly plant in Newnan and will hire 100 employees to work on a new side-by-side utility vehicle. The plant currently employs 1,250 workers. In addition to the 100 to be hired, an additional 300 workers could be added in years to come, the Japanese company said.