Sunroof company plans Cherokee plant, 300 jobs

A Dutch company that supplies sunroofs and other roofing to automakers plans a $17.1 million plant in Cherokee County that will employ 300 workers, Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday.

The Inalfa Roof Systems plant, expected to be open in January, will be built off I-75 at Cherokee 75 Corporate Park. The facility 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 the plant is fully operational.

Danny Colaris, vice president of North American operations for Inalfa, said the company spent four years looking for a plant location before settling on Cherokee. The plant will be Inalfa’s fourth in the U.S. and first in the Southeast. The North American headquarters is in Michigan.

Georgia has used tax breaks and other incentives to lure companies and their jobs to the state. The state Department of Economic Development provided a $400,000 Regional Economic Business Assistance grant to Inalfa plant.

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 related enterprises.

Earlier this month, Yamaha, the world’s largest maker of of all-terrain vehicles, opened a second 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, 300 more workers could be added in years to come, the Japanese company said.

— Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this article.