SWG Aerospace Selects Davie County for New Manufacturing Plant
Please join us in saying thank you to Sabeti Wain Garrard Aerospace (SWG Aerospace) for investing in Davie County and creating new jobs here. They are located at 852 US Highway 64 West, in Mocksville at the former Eagle Heights Baptist Church.
SWG Aerospace is a division of Sabeti Wain Aerospace, a global leader in the design and manufacture of airline passenger seatcovers with direct sales to over 20 major international airliners. Sabeti Wain Aerospace is headquartered in the UK with a second production operation in Dubai.
Although it has started initially with a small team, it is expected that the new company in Mocksville, SWG Aerospace, will grow to about 50 employees. Depending on how well the new company does, the employment numbers could eventually grow to much higher than 50 with job numbers similar to their operations in the UK and Dubai. The Sabetti Wain Aerospace operations in the UK and Dubai manufacturing plants employ 110 and 118 people respectively.
Play-by-Play: When Economic Development is a Team Sport
Economic development projects and opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, from huge projects driven by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, to more regional projects driven by commercial realtors and developers, down to the “I know someone who knows someone…” variety. And then there are those economic development wins that reflect the values of the people in the community where they occur. This is one of those stories.
Sabeti Wain is a supplier to TIMCO Aerosystems, Inc. in Greensboro, NC. They had discussed locating a facility in the US to support their North American market and our friends at TIMCO knew that North Carolina would be a great fit. In May of 2013, Kip Blakely of TIMCO introduced Nick Wain of Sabeti Wain to Penny Whiteheart of the Piedmont Triad Partnership and Melissa Smith of the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The hunt for a North Carolina manufacturing location was officially underway.
It was only natural for SWG Aerospace to explore North Carolina for a new manufacturing plant; after all, from the Spirit AeroSystems’ Kingston Plant, on the campus of the North Carolina Global TransPark, to GE Aviation’s investment of nearly $200 million in four North Carolina sites and the Honda Aircraft Company World Headquarters at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina is emerging as the aerospace and aviation capital of the Southeast.
Andrew Garrard, Managing Director at Sabeti Wain Garrard Aerospace was looking at locations between Charlotte and Hickory and the Piedmont Triad, including Davie County, for his new company.
Andrew stopped at the Mocksville exit on Interstate 40 one day for lunch while travelling across the state. He had been doing the I-40 shuffle, crossing North Carolina to find the perfect location. Mr. Garrard found his way to downtown Mocksville and to Restaurant 101 for lunch. When he returned to his parked rental car after lunch, Mr. Garrard noted some spots of oil on the hood. He drove 2 blocks to York’s Exxon in Mocksville and asked if they could take a look. When the hood of the car was opened it was discovered that the oil filler cap was missing which was causing the oil to splash out of the engine. Mr. York had an oil filler cap that fit perfectly. He placed the filler cap onto the engine, shook hands and wished Mr. Garrard safe travels. “No charge,” he said.
Several weeks later, as he was doing the I-40 shuffle again, still looking for the perfect location, Mr. Garrard took the Mocksville exit to enjoy lunch again at Restaurant 101 in downtown Mocksville.
This time, while eating lunch, Andrew noted a sign for the Total Real Estate Company across the street from Restaurant 101 and decided to spend a few moments learning more about the little community that had treated him so well a few weeks earlier.
During a conversation with Glenn Stanley, Mr. Garrard mentioned his hunt for a manufacturing location in North Carolina. Glenn knew immediately that he needed to get Andrew in touch with Terry Bralley, President of the Davie County Economic Development Commission. They walked over to Terry’s office, Glenn introduced Andrew to Terry, and the hunt was on for the perfect location in Davie County for SWG Aerospace.
Several months later, SWG Aerospace is proud to call Davie County home. They have opened their US location at 852 US Highway 64 W, Mocksville at the former Eagle Heights Baptist Church. Mr. Bralley added, “I would also like to thank Bank of the Carolinas for their help in making this WIN a reality for our community.”
About SWG Aerospace
Sabeti Wain Garrard Aerospace is a division of Sabeti Wain Aerospace, a global leader in the design and manufacture of airline passenger seatcovers with direct sales to over 20 major international airliners. Sabeti Wain Aerospace is headquartered in the UK with a second production operation in Dubai.
Unlike SWA’s Dubai subsidiary which is run from the UK, SWG Aerospace is a standalone operation. All sales activity, customer liaison, product design and manufacture will be run from the new plant in Mocksville. Paymen Sabeti, a director at SWA, outlined the reasons behind the new move: “Having a team on the ground in the States allows us to provide a faster and more responsive service to all our customers there. As well as being able to respond directly to customer orders, we will be able to significantly shorten the product development cycle.
“With new products developed in the UK we have to travel to the States for briefing meetings. Then prototypes and new products have to be freighted backwards and forwards before final production takes place. This is not only time consuming, it’s also expensive because of freight and duty costs. We will also cut out all the inevitable delays that occur where international freighting is concerned.
“There are also environmental benefits. Less long-distance freighting means that our carbon footprint will be considerably reduced.”