A London business has a reason to celebrate.
GRA-MAG, located at 470 E. High St., produced its one millionth seat for the medium- and heavy-duty truck market Wednesday.
The milestone was recognized with remarks by guest speakers and lunch for the company’s 75 employees, as well as a ceremonial installation of the seat into a BST Kenworth truck.
The London trucking company, located directly adjacent to GRA-MAG, provides transportation for the seat business, company leaders noted.
Based on Troy, Mich., GRA-MAG, a is a joint venture between Grammer AG and Magna International. It was formed in 1998 with a focus on producing medium- and heavy-duty truck seat systems to reduce driver fatigue. Its customers include Kenworth, Peterbilt and KENMEX.
The first seats were manufactured on Oct. 18, 2000, and were designed to reduce driver fatigue through increased levels of comfort, performance and safety.
David Higgs, GRA-MAG president, said on Wednesday employees of the London facility are “driven for success.”
“This milestone could not have been achieved without the hard work of our employees and the ongoing support of our community,” said Higgs.
He said the company is proud to be part of the London-Madison County community.
“It’s the best place to run a company in the country,” Higgs added.
David Kell, executive director of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, called the company a “great partner” in the local business climate.
“It’s great to see what’s being made by you all in our community,” he said. “And it’s great to see the one millionth seat produced in London.”
Proclamations were also presented by State Rep. Bob Hackett (R-London) and Adam Rapien, a representative of U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Upper Arlington).
Hackett said he and State Sen. Chris Widener (R-Springfield) — who was not present but submitted a proclamation — are “business guys.”
“Ohio is getting it right,” Hackett said. “If you look at the things we’ve accomplished not only in this country, but in this state, it’s fantastic. Anything we can do to create the best business environment for companies to operate, we’re there.”
Jonathan Bridges, director of automotive with JobsOhio — the state’s publicly funded economic development agency — agreed.
“Ohio has really become a foremost competitor of auto in the world, and it’s because of folks like yourselves that are making our reputation in Ohio globally known,” he said. “This type of product is seen worldwide.”
Andrea Chaffin McKinney is the editor of the Madison Press. She can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619 or via Twitter @AndeeWrites.