Fluid Routing Solutions to Consolidate Operations, Creating 115 New Jobs

December 15, 2007

EASLEY, SC – December, 2007 – Christmas came early to Pickens County this year as Fluid Routing Solutions, Inc., a Tier 1 automotive supplier, announced plans to maintain a presence in Pickens County, keeping 450 jobs, and consolidating its power steering operations from a Quebec plant to create 115 new jobs.

According to Pickens County officials, this was a concerted effort to keep another South Carolina manufacturer from leaving the state. “FRS made it clear to us this summer that they were going to close this plant and move these jobs to Canada,” said Ray Farley, executive director of Alliance Pickens. “Fortunately they gave us an opportunity to convince them to stay. Not only have they chosen to stay, they are making an immediate investment of over $5 million while creating 115 new jobs.”

FRS is moving capital equipment from Quebec that will be added to the plant’s existing power steering operations. In the meantime, company officials are assessing whether to add on to the existing plant or possibly build a 150,000 square-foot facility in the Pickens County Commerce Park. That decision will be made within the next 18-24 months.

“We are very thankful we didn’t lose 450 jobs this holiday season, and we’re very happy that we were able to persuade FRS after months of negotiations that Pickens County was the best site for consolidating its operations,” said Neil Smith, Pickens County Council Chair. “This is a nice Christmas present for the FRS employees and their families.”

“In the end, it came down to the excellent workforce in Pickens County that made staying in Pickens County the best decision for our business,” said Tim Parys, the new Operations Manager for Power Steering Products. “The experience level, the strong work ethic and the flexibility of the workforce is vital to our company’s ongoing success and we’re pleased to remain an active member of this business community.”

“Today’s announcement is another sign that our efforts to improve the state’s economic soil conditions are working to attract new investment and grow existing industry.  As well, this news demonstrates that our state’s automotive sector continues to grow and bring with it new job opportunities.  We remain committed to continuing our efforts to enhance the state’s business climate to keep creating jobs and investment throughout South Carolina,” said Gov. Mark Sanford.

“Fluid Routing Solutions manufactures fluid handling systems for OEMs with customers throughout the world.  The company’s expansion in our state demonstrates the strength of our workforce and business climate.  Thanks to the team efforts of the state and local officials, Pickens County will benefit from this investment,” said Joe Taylor, Secretary of Commerce.

“This is a great example of how collaboration and teamwork can result in important economic development success,” said Ed Parris, chair of Alliance Pickens. “Ray Farley worked with a number of allies and his counterparts in Greenville and Oconee counties to make sure South Carolina didn’t lose an important manufacturer. In the end, the Pickens location prevailed and this is the best Christmas present we could have – retaining 450 jobs and creating 115 more!”

Anchor Swan was the original plant that opened in the Pickens County facility in 1981 and through a series of acquisitions became Dayco Products and then part of the Mark IV Automotive Products family. Fluid Routing Solutions, Inc. was created in May 2007, when Sun Capital Partners, Inc. acquired the automotive OEM fuel and fluid handling operations of Mark IV Industries, Inc. In addition to the Pickens plant, the company has operations in Florida, Michigan and Tennessee.