GREENSBORO — A Greek battery company will open its first U.S. manufacturing operation in the city by the middle of 2020.
Sunlight Batteries USA, which is a subsidiary of Greece-based Group Olympia, told local officials at the O.Henry Hotel on Thursday the Greensboro factory will produce batteries for machines ranging from forklifts to submarines.
Michael Mastorakis, Sunlight’s chief financial officer, said his company screened a number of states, but ultimately chose North Carolina because of its location, population and workforce.
“We came here to stay,” he said. “It’s a big investment for ourselves. It’s very important for Sunlight to be here in the U.S.”
Mastorakis said his company has several battery operations in Europe, but it would be impossible to serve the U.S. market from that distance. U.S. companies often demand fast turnarounds and don’t like to build up inventory, so Sunlight has to be nimble, he explained.
Mastorakis said Sunlight will open in a location to be disclosed later and begin operations with as few as 15 employees. Ultimately, the company plans to hire up to 46.
“This could be the base for further growth,” he told the assembled leaders Thursday.
A High Point business recruiter first met Mastorakis at a Chicago convention in April and started discussions about attracting the company. But as things evolved, Sunlight was attracted to a site in Greensboro.
Loren Hill, president of the High Point Economic Development Corp., said his agency was happy to collaborate with the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce to recruit the company.
Sunlight asked for no local economic development incentives, but will benefit from a $100,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund, which is administered by the state.
Although wages will vary by position, the average for all new positions could reach up to $47,978.
Sunlight is the second company that’s come to Greensboro as the result of a partnership with High Point. Even as recently as five years ago the two cities would have battled over a corporate prospect. But with the joint creation of the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance, leaders from both cities have worked together on several business announcements.