Manufacturing's Winner And Loser: Creating Jobs; Expanding An Already Massive Recall

This week's winner is developing a new aerospace manufacturing plant that will add 260 jobs; this week's loser is expanding an already massive recall for parts that are responsible for at least 10 deaths in the U.S.

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This week's winner is developing a new aerospace manufacturing plant that will add 260 jobs; this week's loser is expanding an already massive recall for parts that are responsible for at least 10 deaths in the U.S.

Winner

UTC Aerospace Systems announced Tuesday the development of a new 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Foley, AL. The facility will add 260 jobs to the region. 

Employees at the plant will assemble aerodynamic jet engine covers, primarily for the Airbus A320, as well as deliver propulsion systems from the plant to the Airbus assembly line in Mobile, about 40 miles away. The plant will also manufacture parts for other aircraft including Bombardier, Embraer and Mitsubishi, the company said. 

"We chose Foley to expand because of its proven track record of performance, our desire to be near a key customer, and the tremendous cooperation we've had from the state, county and the city," Marc Duvall, president of UTC Aerospace Systems' Aerostructures business, said in a statement.

Construction will likely take about a year, and the plant is expected to open in the second quarter of 2017.

Loser

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administreation announced Wednesday that it is expanding the recall for Takata airbag inflators, nearly doubling the already massive number. 

The agency had previously recalled almost 29 million inflators, but the expansion now includes all inflators that use ammonium nitrate propellant without a drying agent. The recall is expected to affect another 35 to 40 million inflators through 2019.

The NHTSA has called this "the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history." Takata estimated the previously announced recalls to cost around $3.5 billion. 

The revised order also requires the company to focus on researching the safety of inflators which use a chemical drying agent. Unless Takata can definitely prove their safety, those inflators could be added to the recall in the future as well.

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