Comstar launches new Tecumseh plant with grand opening in Industrial Park

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Mayor Richard Johnson (second from left) assists officials with Comstar's ribbon cutting, including CEO and President Sat Mohan Gupta (standing far right) and Associate Vice President Praveen Chakrapani Rao (far left) during a grand opening event on Thursday, April 25. Photo by Jim Lincoln.

Comstar Automotive USA LLC held a Grand Opening in Tecumseh on Thursday, April 25. City representatives joined Ford Motor Company officials and other community leaders for a presentation, tour and reception at the new plant being launched at 900 Industrial Drive.

The parent company, Comstar Automotive Technologies Pvt. Ltd., is headquartered in India and also has a manufacturing facility in Chennai, India. Comstar is one of the leading Tier-1 suppliers of starter motors and alternators for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles all over the world. The Tecumseh company will supply starters for Ford Motor Company that will go to Kentucky Truck, which company officials said is the most profitable truck assembly plant in the world.

The program started with recorded music playing, which is traditional in India when beginning a new venture. Comstar CEO and President Sat Mohan Gupta said that the launch of the Tecumseh plant came about in a very short period of time, thanks to teamwork within the company and with its partners and local officials, including the city and its Economic Development Department, the Lenawee Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“This is the proudest moment for all of us,” Gupta said during opening remarks. He added that when the company was having discussions with bankers, representatives were asked why they wanted to build a plant in the United States.

“One of the things we said was that we want to have space next to the customer,” said Gupta. “We also wanted to expand our manufacturing footprint here, and to mitigate risk. So we decided to come to North America, to Tecumseh, and we’ve received good support from everyone here.” Gupta said the plant would start small with just a few employees, but officials are already thinking of future growth. “We will be looking at a more long-term perspective and will be hiring more people later on,” he said.

Praveen Chakrapani Rao, Comstar Associate Vice President, said he and other members of the team had researched Tecumseh, including the background of the Native American warrior the city is named for, and were impressed with his freedom struggles.

“What strikes us is the quote ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,’” Rao said. “We think it’s a good omen that here we are beginning our journey in North America.” He added, “Ever since we made the decision to come here, we were pleasantly surprised with the openness and warmth, and from our point of view, we were very surprised at how easy business can be done here.”

Mayor Richard Johnson welcomed Comstar to Tecumseh, and said it’s an example of “how innovative minds and technology can join together.”

“Tecumseh is a great place to live, work and raise a family, and we invite you to become invested in the Tecumseh community,” said Johnson.

Comstar officials said they would be implementing the best practices from their Chennai facility to make the Tecumseh plant a world-class facility.

“We’re here for the long term and expect to grow,” said Rao.

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