Bobaek America opening $35-million EV parts manufacturing facility in Windsor

AM800-News-Vic Fedeli-Bobaek America-December 11-2023

A Korean company has announced a $35-million investment in a new manufacturing facility in Windsor.

Bobaek America Inc., an electric vehicle parts manufacturer specializes in battery insulation panels and cell sheets for electric vehicles.

The investment announced Monday in Windsor will be the company's first entry into the North American EV supply chain and will create 144 new jobs in the region.

The new, 71,000-square-foot manufacturing facility off Wheelton Drive, expected to open in June 2024, will include state-of-the-art equipment to produce the insulation panels and cell sheets needed for EV batteries, including pressure moulding and sensor cutting machines, tape assembly, silicon pad cutting and packing automation lines, and 3D measuring equipment. 

Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, told reporters Monday in Windsor that Bobaek is already looking ahead to phase two of this initial investment.

"You're talking about another $30-million investment, another 71,000 square-foot building, another 60 plus jobs b eing approved. So this is really a doubly exciting announcement today," he says.

AM800-News-Bobaek America-Announcement-December 11-2023

President of Invest WindsorEssex Stephen MacKenzie , Conservative MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh Andrew Dowie, President of Bobaek America Inc. Jae-Hwa Moon, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli, Conservative MPP for Essex Anthony Leardi and Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens are seen during an announcement at Invest WindsorEssex. Dec. 11, 2023. (Photo: Rob Hindi)

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens says geography plays a key role along with the government cementing the NextStar electric vehicle battery plant, it's leading to all of this other investment.

"LG told us in a conversation after they announced the battery factory and 2,500 jobs, they said get ready because there's probably at least 1,500 other jobs in the supply chain that will follow us, and then there's the economic impact that comes, the multiplier that comes from all of those positions as well," he says.

Dilkens is excited the president of the company is already talking about phase two that's going to be ready by 2025.

"The same thing that happened with Dongshin Motech that we announced," he says. "They were on to phase two before they even opened the doors for phase one. So they're seeing the landscape, they're seeing the opportunity in Ontario, in Windsor Essex, and they're taking advantage of it."

In June 2022, Dongshin Motech announced a $60-to-$90-million investment to locate a 170,000-square-foot manufacturing facility off Wheelton Drive near Windsor Airport, creating 300 jobs at the facility which will manufacture battery casings for the lithium-ion batteries to be produced by the NextStar electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant off Banwell Road.

As part of the Bobaek America investment, the Ontario government is providing $1.5 million in funding through the Regional Development Program's Southwestern Ontario Development Fund.

"We are pleased to announce that Bobaek is establishing its first North American manufacturing hub in Windsor, Ontario," said Mr. Dongjo Seo, President of Bobaek C&S Headquarters. "The plant's output should be able to cover the entire North American market. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all the individuals who have provided much assisstance in enabling us to settle in Windsor."

 

With files from Rob Hindi and Rusty Thomson