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Two Indiana Companies Plan Research & Development Expansions


Echo Automotive, Inc. (OTCQB:ECAU) and Emerson Power Transmission Corporation announced plans today to expand research and development operations in Indiana, creating up to a combined 17 new jobs in the coming years.

“Companies looking for innovative solutions find the workforce and resources they’re seeking in Indiana,” said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “With the state’s top-notch universities offering world-class programs like engineering, Indiana’s workforce helps companies take their ideas and products to the next level, making this a state that works.”

Scottsdale, Ariz.-headquartered Echo Automotive, which develops and manufactures EchoDrive™, a bolt-on, plug-in hybrid system for automotive fleets, will invest $3.6 million to lease, renovate and equip a 40,000 square-foot distribution and research and development plant at the Flagship Accelerator Building in Anderson. The project, which includes the installation of new automobile lifts, a thermal chamber and a full dynamometer test facility, will create up to 10 new jobs by 2015.

“Anderson has become the heart of an automotive electrification corridor, where access to leading-edge technologies and veteran industry talent is unrivaled across the United States and beyond," said Jason Plotke, president, chairman and co-founder of Echo Automotive. “The intellectual property that originally drew us to Anderson originally showcased the capabilities of the world-class engineers and innovators who are part of this community and made it clear that locating our development operations in Anderson would give Echo access to a rich base of resources that will support company growth and continued innovation.”

Echo Automotive, which currently employs more than 15 associates in Indiana, has already begun hiring engineers and CAD designers and will fill technician positions early this year. Interested candidates can learn more at www.echoautomotive.com.

“Echo is a growing business and Anderson is a growing city in metro Indianapolis,” said Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith. “We appreciate all of Echo's staff for their continued partnership with Anderson and our Hoosier state.”

Florence, Ky.-based Emerson Power Transmission Corporation, a manufacturer of bearings and power transmission components, will invest $1.87 million to renovate and equip its 20,000 square-foot engineering research and development laboratory in Valparaiso. The company, which operates an additional 158,000 square-foot facility in Valparaiso along with another Indiana facility in Monticello, will add up to seven new jobs by 2014.

“The new engineering lab in Valparaiso will enable us to consolidate several labs throughout the United States,” said Jim Porter, vice president, worldwide engineering of Emerson Power Transmission. “The consolidated lab will make more efficient utilization of specialty equipment, such as our scanning electron microscope, for all of our existing and new product lines. It will also allow us to share our talent pool across more projects and product lines, as we put increased focus on new product development. Having a consolidated lab will make it more cost efficient to upgrade our facilities now and in the future.”

Emerson Power Transmission, which currently employs more than 550 people in Indiana, has already begun hiring test engineers, engineering test specialists, reliability engineers and a quality assurance technician in Valparaiso. Interested applicants can learn more about open positions in the careers section of www.emerson.com.

"We're so pleased that Emerson has chosen Valparaiso for its upcoming consolidation and expansion project,” said Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas. “It's gratifying to see local companies expand their commitment to Valparaiso, adding new jobs and new ideas. As a city, we're excited to partner with others and provide the environment and incentives for companies to succeed."

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Echo Automotive, Inc. up to $100,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $30,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. Emerson Power Transmission Corporation was offered up to $70,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives.

The city of Anderson will consider additional tax abatement for Echo Automotive, Inc. The city of Valparaiso approved tax abatement for Emerson Power Transmission Corporation.

With its low tax, pro-growth business environment, Indiana stands out as an ideal place to start or grow a business. Indiana finished first in the Midwest in Chief Executive magazine’s Best & Worst States survey, along with first in the Midwest and second in the nation in Site Selection magazine’s Top 10 Competitive States of 2012 ranking.

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