The CEO of Tristone Flowtech Group stood Wednesday before a huge construction site in Mooresville, North Carolina.
“In seven months, behind me, a plant will be there that is 20,000 square meters, which will employ in three years more than 300 people,” said Guenter Froelich, who had traveled from his company’s global headquarters in Germany. “The total investment is more than $23 million.”
Parker Poe and Parker Poe Consulting supported the Tristone team to realize this new strategy to produce its products in the United States, making it Tristone’s second facility in the NAFTA region, with one already operating in Mexico.
It all started with Tristone’s decision in September 2016 to find a location for its first U.S. manufacturing plant. The company supplies critical parts, including engine and battery cooling solutions, to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that serve the automotive industry worldwide.
“We did not have a U.S. base when we started this project, so in a way, Parker Poe Consulting was our partner to be the U.S. base for us,” said Volker Süßmeyer, Tristone’s vice president of operations. “It was really valuable to have that support from professional consultants who know the market.”
Mark Simmons of Parker Poe Consulting served as the site selection consultant, leading Tristone through a multi-phase process that included visiting nine finalist sites in three southeastern states. He also helped negotiate state and local incentives.
Parker Poe attorneys assisted with later phases of the project, including the negotiation and preparation of contracts. Sam Moses, head of Parker Poe's Manufacturing & Distribution Team, served as counsel to Tristone. Parker Poe’s team also advised on real estate-related legal issues.
Volker says it was “quite important” to have the seamless collaboration between Parker Poe and Parker Poe Consulting.
“It had a lot of benefits because it prevents ping-pong between different parties,” Volker said. “It was a more highly integrated process, and it went very well having the attorneys and the consultants work hand-in-hand.”
The executive director of Mooresville South Iredell Economic Development Corporation (MSIEDC) echoes that point. Russ Rogerson says having the consultants and attorneys working alongside each other was “critical.”
“It’s easy to come to verbal agreements,” Russ said. “It’s a little more challenging when you have to put it on paper, so having that be seamless really made it a lot easier for us.”
Chris Younger, MSIEDC’s director of business development, says the Parker Poe attorneys and consultants were “excellent” to work with. He noted that Mark Simmons has previous experience working for an economic development organization like his.
“Especially with Mark’s background, he really understood the things that we’re working through,” Chris said. “He really saw it from our side as well as the company’s side, so having a consultant who has that experience was pretty refreshing. He speaks the same language as developers.”
In sum, Russ Rogerson described the Parker Poe team as “an awesome partner.”
“Quite frankly, they played a critical role in getting us through this process,” Russ said. “I can say I don’t think we’d be here today if it wasn’t for them. They kept things coordinated and organized, and the communication level was strong.”
Sam Moses and Mark Simmons say they are thankful that Tristone chose the Parker Poe team to support this project.
“It was a very collaborative effort among many partners, and we are extremely excited about the future of Tristone in Mooresville,” Sam said.
“A special thanks to Iredell County, the Town of Mooresville, the State of North Carolina and the development team, Colliers and SunCap, for their hard work on behalf of our client,” Mark adds.
You can learn more about Parker Poe Consulting’s site selection services here and Parker Poe’s Manufacturing & Distribution Team here.