Battery maker Saft strikes North American headquarters to Jacksonville – Enterprise – The Florida Occasions-Union
Saft will relocate its North American headquarters to Jacksonville, where the company is building a $ 200 million high-tech battery plant that will begin production in July.
The facility is expected to employ around 300 people when it is fully utilized. Headquarters will have less of a workplace impact for seven to ten employees, but it would bring some of Saft’s corporate decision-makers to Jacksonville. Saft, which has six other locations in the United States, is headquartered in Valdosta, Ga.
Having Saft’s North American headquarters here will help Jacksonville capitalize on future Saft expansion in the US, said Jerry Mallot, executive vice president of the Jacksonville regional chamber of commerce.
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“It always increases the possibility as this will be the most advanced manufacturing facility of its kind,” Mallot said.
Saft is building the plant in the Cecil Commerce Center on the west side. Lithium-ion batteries are produced for the military and industry.
Saft, whose global headquarters are in Paris, received a federal grant of $ 95.5 million and an additional $ 20.2 million in state and city financial incentives to build the 235,000-square-foot facility. Moving the corporate headquarters does not provide any additional incentives.
Saft America President Thomas Alcide moved to Jacksonville in January and has an office in the Cecil Commerce Center. He said Saft decided to make Jacksonville its North American headquarters for the same reasons that it chose the city for the plant.
The city has an “international style” that will help when Saft brings customers to the battery plant from around the world, Alcide said. He said Juice also views the Jacksonville lifestyle and amenities as a means of attracting talented engineers and others with continuing education to do Juice.
“It is very important to recruit highly technical people in places where they want to live,” he said.
Alcide said it also makes sense to have the headquarters here as the factory is at the heart of the company’s work in the United States.
Saft operates in 18 countries with 4,000 employees worldwide.
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