HOMER, Mich. (AP) -- High-end auto parts manufacturer Brembo S.p.A announced plans Wednesday to make North America its top market while celebrating expansion of its plant in southern Michigan.
The Italian company's $115 million investment enlarged a factory where brakes, discs, calipers and corner modules are produced in Homer, about 35 miles southeast of Battle Creek.
"This expanded and modernized production facility represents a new foundation for Brembo in North America, enabling us to increase our presence in the U.S. market and offer better service to our clients," Chairman Alberto Bombassei said.
The company said revenue from its North American operations jumped 19.4 percent from 2012 to 2013. Revenues the first quarter of this year were up 27.7 percent over the first quarter of last year. It credited the spurt to its purchase of the Hayes-Lemmerz Automotive Brake Component division in 2007 and the "substantial" growth of U.S.-based original equipment manufacturers.
Brembo, based in Stezzano, Italy, began manufacturing disc brakes in the U.S. after buying the Hayes-Lemmerz discs division, which included the Homer plant.
The plant has undergone several expansions since then. Brembo built a caliper and corner module manufacturing facility next to the disc plant in 2010.
The combined 440,000-square-foot plant employs more than 450 people. It has 47 processing lines and 12 painting lines.