TROY — Employees and dignitaries gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Crown company’s new forklift engine plant, which opened late last year in Troy.
The New Bremen-based business purchased the building in 2012 and moved in in 2013.
Following the ribbon cutting and a ceremony with words from Troy Chamber Ambassador Brock Heath and Mayor Michael Beamish, Crown Forklift President Jim Dicke shared how the company has grown from when it first started as a family business with his great-grandfather Carl.
“Crown Controls, as it was known then, was founded in 1945 in a hardware building in New Bremen,” he said. “After some business diversification, which was not a straight line but a curvy road, it turned into a family business.”
Today the business is a $2.5 billion dollar forklift manufacturer and technology provider with 17 manufacturing plants worldwide, 500 retail locations and more than 12,000 employees.
“Our team here in Troy plays a critical role in our manufacturing of our signature products, the Crown C5 series of industrial internal combustion fuel place,” he said. “Our team of 50 at the Troy plant design C5 engines, which are designed for harsh conditions.”
Plant manager Lance Ibrahim said Crown’s construction of its own engines was part of the company’s vertical integration strategy.
“It’s in our heredity and in our genes to make our own products for ourselves,” he said. “It ensures we make a good quality robust product. We also control the stability of supplies in the company.”
So far, Crown produced 2,000 engines to date and so far the plan is to follow the demand for the C5 truck.
“The process goes that raw material enters the plant, we machine the blocks into heads, we assemble the other components and we 100 percent test every engine, so everything is 100 percent made here at Crown,” he said. “Now they’ll be staged here to go to our plant in Greencastle, Ind., where they’ll manufacture the C5 there.”
Currently there are four open positions and based on Crown’s historic growth, Ibrahim said he imagined the company was going to be able to continue growing.
“One of the big reasons for choosing this location was the I-75 corridor, and the access to not just the number of employees but the skill level employees,” he said. “We have all of that.”
Reach Allison C. Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Troydailynews.