Loc Performance to open engineering center, hire up to 20 in Sterling Heights

Loc Performance Inc. is expanding into Sterling Heights with plans to open an engineering center and hire 15-20 people.

The Plymouth-based manufacturer and defense contractor will open by next month a 30,000-square-foot facility in an industrial area known as the Defense Corridor Center for Collaboration in Macomb County, on 14 Mile Road between Mound and Van Dyke roads, said Brent Williams, vice president of sales and marketing for the company.

Loc Performance will invest around $100,000 into the leased space at 33852 Sterling Ponds — a 97,000-square-foot warehouse where Navistar Defense LLC also rents space. Loc Performance’s lease is for three years with an option to extend.

Buildout and design are being handled in-house and include installation of new desks, expanded servers and other office equipment. Beginning early November, a handful of employees will be moved to the new location and hiring will take place over the course of a year. A company job fair is being planned in Plymouth for Nov. 6, but details on time and place are still being ironed out. The company’s website lists job openings.

Loc Performance operates a manufacturing plant in Plymouth and a fabrications facility in Lansing and employs 550 people. It supplies driveline, suspension and track systems for military and industrial vehicles. Unlike its other locations, which support military and commercial contracts, the center in Sterling Heights will focus solely on the defense industry. It will serve as a hub for design and development.

The company was awarded in August a $475 million contract by the U.S. Army for the Multiple Launch Rocket System Integrated Armor Cab, according to a news release.

“(The new location) is close to our customers and it’ll be easier to recruit talent,” Williams said.

Fueled by large military contracts, Loc Performance is investing up to $96.5 million into expansion in Plymouth and Lansing. Its projected 2018 revenue is $180 million, up $25 million from last year.