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|VVC executive to speak at chamber luncheon|
Horst Metz, vice president of assembly and logistics for the new V-Vehicle Company, will be the keynote speaker at a Monroe Chamber luncheon scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 13 at the Monroe Civic Center.
V-Vehicle Company is a new American car company that will produce a high-quality and fuel efficient car for the U.S. market.
According to Metz, V-Vehicle's goal is to provide the American car buyer greater product value and a superior automotive experience. By designing and building its cars in the U.S., VVC wants to help re-establish American leadership in the global automotive industry.
VVC was founded in 2006 by Frank Varasano, a former Oracle Corp. and Booz Allen Hamilton executive. The vehicle design team is led by Tom Matano, who is best known as the "father of the Miata," which was recently named the "most iconic" car of the past 25 years by BusinessWeek.
Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., VVC will build its first manufacturing facility in Monroe.
VVC selected Monroe as its first plant site after an extensive and competitive, multi-state evaluation of potential candidates against a detailed list of critical factors. Key to its decision was the availability of an existing facility, the quality of the labor pool, its confidence in the state and local leadership and a creative incentive package developed by the Louisiana Economic Development team that addressed core needs and provided value where it was most needed.
VVC is in the process of renovating, retooling and expanding the former Guide headlamp facility, which will double its size to an estimated 325,000 square feet of production space. The construction project began late this summer.
Once completed and at full capacity, the Monroe facility will employ over 1,400 workers. The majority of these workers will be employed by VVC, with approximately one-third employed by several collocated supplier companies.
VVC intends to take advantage of the Louisiana FastStart program to help recruit, screen and train its workforce. Production hiring is expected to begin in the summer of 2010.
Metz has an undergraduate degree from MIT and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School. He spent 10 years in industry before joining Booz Allen Hamilton in Chicago. Throughout his 20-year career at Booz, where he rose to senior partner and director, Metz served automotive and other engineered product industry clients, focusing on manufacturing strategy and operations improvement. His clients included most of the automotive OEMs in both the U.S. and Europe.
Since retiring from Booz in 1998, Metz has maintained an independent consulting practice serving a small group of clients, including three European car companies and a European locomotive builder. He joined VVC early last year as vice president — final assembly, and, in that role, oversees VVC's logistics and assembly operations.
"We are honored that Mr. Metz agreed to speak to our members and to give us an update on V-Vehicle," said Isaac White, chairman of the Monroe Chamber. "It is so rewarding to drive by the facility on I-20 and to see work under way, but the most rewarding moment will come when the plant is open and we have 1,400 residents working in jobs that pay an average of $40,000 per year plus benefits."
The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Monroe Civic Center. Reservations can be made by calling Daphne McClish at 807-4018. Cost to attend is $25 per person.