October 29, 2018. Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce President Marshall Ramsey, NETVRIDA
Executive Director Alan Bridwell, NETREP Director Mitch Miller, and Greene County Partnership CEO Matt Garland, were part of a United States delegation touring Van Hool facilities in Belgium on September 12, 2018. The Belgian company will establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Morristown and create nearly 640 jobs over the next five years. Van Hool is the largest family-owned manufacturer in Belgium.
The delegation which included U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Ronald Gidwitz, toured Van Hool’s nearly 3 million square foot production space which manufactures coaches, transit and industrial trucks.
“Visiting Van Hool facilities is a great way to highlight the transatlantic economic ties that our countries can build and maintain. We will continue to support Van Hool and other firms interested in investment opportunities in the USA,” the US Embassy in Brussels tweeted.
Van Hool, a family-owned Belgian manufacturer of buses, coaches and industrial vehicles, plans to invest more than $47 million to construct an approximately 500,000-square-foot facility in Morristown’s East Tennessee Progress Center, a Select Tennessee Certified Site.
At the new plant, Van Hool will manufacture public transit and commuter vehicles for U.S. transit agencies. Van Hool anticipates the facility will be operational in the first quarter of 2020, producing 500 buses a year to start.
“We’re excited to announce the next step of the global growth plans of the Van Hool Group here in Morristown, Hamblen County, Tennessee,” Van Hool CEO Filip Van Hool said at the time of the original announcement. “The investment of more than $47 million reaffirms the more than 30-year presence of Van Hool in the U.S. market. Since 1987, we have supplied more than 10,000 vehicles in North America. Today, we’re really looking forward to building a state-of the-art bus factory in Morristown to supply the entire North American market with high quality buses and commuter coaches for transit agencies from 2020 onwards.
“The presence of highly-regarded technical schools and well trained workers in Hamblen County, together with the support and cooperation of all local parties involved, convinced the Van Hool executive board to make the largest investment outside Belgium in Van Hool’s 71-year history,” Van Hool continued. “Thank you, Morristown, Hamblen County and Tennessee. We’re really looking forward to working together with you on this great project both for the local community and Van Hool.”