With $1.9 million in Community Development Block Grant funds to Watervliet Township in Berrien County Lane Automotive Inc. will be able to undertake an expansion project that is expected to generate 138 new jobs.
The funds in part will go toward on-the-job training for new employees. And Lane Automotive will offer at least 70 of the new jobs to those of low or moderate income.
The company got its start in 1964 when George Lane, who had been building drag race cars out of the garage of his home in Coloma, decided to start a part-time business
supplying speed equipment to local racers.
As his positive reputation grew he moved the business into a store front of its own and the business continued to grow. This original building would undergo several additions during the next decade as Lane Automotive's retail trade grew and the wholesale side of the business began to develop.
Over the next 12 years the company continued to grow and in 1987 ground was broken on a new
53,000 square foot building. The company's next move-- in 1998-- was to Watervliet into a building three times the size of the one it had just moved out of. Details of the company's growth can be found here
Today, Motor State Distributing, now the largest division of Lane Automotive, is one of the leading speed equipment warehouse distributors in the world and the company has found it was ready to expand again.
The site for the business in Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Tennessee and Indiana.
Source: Lane Automotive Inc.