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Sony To Upgrade Indiana Plant

Plant is home to Sony’s Blu-ray operations and will receive nearly $110 million in new equipment and property improvement upgrades.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Sony Corp. is planning to invest nearly $110 million in new equipment and property improvements to upgrade its sprawling Terre Haute plant following the triumph of the company's Blu-ray high-definition format.
Sony's Blu-ray HD format recently beat out other technologies that had vied to become the high-definition replacement for the DVD.
Company officials plan to add at least 65 jobs to the Terre Haute plant as part of the upgrade. Sony wants to invest more than $101 million in new equipment and more than $7.4 million in property improvements, for a total of $108.5 million in new investments.
On Thursday, company officials sought and received from the Terre Haute City Council the first of two required approvals for tax abatement on the projects.
The City Council will vote April 10 for final approval on the tax abatements.
Shelley Klingerman, spokeswoman for Sony, said the company is still evaluating its employment needs but said it has determined a minimum of 65 new workers will be needed for its Blu-ray operations.
Sony also could move into space that had been occupied by Columbia House/BMG, although no final plans have yet been determined, Klingerman said.
According to resolutions for tax abatements filed with the City Council, Sony has a new corporate name for its Terre Haute plant, formerly called Sony Digital Audio Disc Corp.
The new name is Sony DADC US Inc.
Sony's Terre Haute plant currently has 1,183 employees, with 888 hourly workers earning an average of $17.63 per hour, excluding benefits and overtime, plus 295 salaried positions with an average annual salary of $65,607, excluding benefits.
The total annual payroll for its more than 1,100 workers is $51.92 million. Adding the 65 new workers will add $2.82 million to Sony's annual payroll.
Of the estimated 65 new employees, 50 will be hourly permanent positions and 15 salaried permanent positions, according to Sony's filings with the City Council.
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