Wabash National Corp. has announced plans to locate a new semi trailer manufacturing facility in Franklin that is expected to create up to 460 new full-time jobs within two years.
The Indiana-based company plans to build a 300,000-square-foot plant on 60 acres in the Sanders Interstate Park. Total project costs are estimated to be approximately $26 million.
Established in 1985 and headquartered in Lafayette, Ind., Wabash National specializes in the design and production of dry freight vans, refrigerated vans, flatbed trailers, drop deck trailers and intermodal equipment. The company has approximately 4,000 employees throughout the United States and Canada and reported net sales of $1.1 billion for 2007. Its core products are sold under the DuraPlate, ArcticLite and Eagle brand names. The new Kentucky plant will produce DuraPlate and FreightPro dry van trailers.
The company also operates two wholly-owned subsidiaries: Transcraft® Corp., a manufacturer of flatbed and drop deck trailers, and Wabash National Trailer Centers, trailer service centers and retail distributors of new and used trailers and aftermarket parts. One of Transcraft’s two manufacturing facilities is located in Mt. Sterling, Ky.
Wabash National President and CEO Dick Giromini said the new Franklin plant “is a key building block of our long-term, strategic growth plan.
“Our goal,” said Giromini, “is to create a business and manufacturing process that is more efficient, less complex and better suited to generate long-term shareholder value.”
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has granted preliminary approval for Wabash National Corp. to receive tax benefits up to $4 million under the Kentucky Industrial Development Act, an incentive program designed to attract and expand manufacturing employment in the state.
Simpson County Judge-Executive Jim Henderson credited the newly opened Franklin Technical College with helping boost the community’s business profile.
“The new technical college was an important feature that made our site competitive against dozens of other sites throughout the Southeast,” Henderson said.