Britax cuts ribbon on Fort Mill site

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comMay 4, 2013 

JOHN MARKS - JMARKS@FORTMILLTIMES.COM

— Britax Child Safety arrived at its Fort Mill home in March, but made the move official Tuesday.

The company cut the ribbon on a 500,000-square-foot facility to serve as its North and South American headquarters, employing more than 240 people.

The company manufactures car seats, strollers and baby carriers. The move to 4140 Pleasant Road relocates operations, product development, testing, assembly, warehousing and distribution work from five outgrown Charlotte spaces.

“We have the whole team together under one roof,” said Jon Chamberlain, company president.

Civic and business leaders from throughout York County toured the location Tuesday. According to the company, tripled growth in the past five years made a new headquarters necessary.

“We expect that to continue at above industry rates in the years to come,” Chamberlain said.

Mark Farris, economic development director for the county, called the new facility one of the more impressive of its kind in the Charlotte region. The Pleasant Road location near a major interstate and airport were selling points for the company, he said, as were local commitments to transportation like the Pennies for Progress road funding program.

Michael McInerney, director of external affairs for the South Carolina Department of Commerce, called the Britax addition “another testament to what team South Carolina can accomplish.” Britt Blackwell, chairman of the York County Council, said the Britax move and others like it “signal better times for our state and region.”

“Whenever we can convince a company of Britax’s stature to come here, we add to York County’s reputation,” Blackwell said. “We want to become the location of choice.”

Chamberlain also said he was proud of a somewhat broader approach to what his team does, in terms of where they’re doing it.

“We can compete globally with products we make right here in the U.S.,” he said.

Britax is more than 70 years old, beginning as an accessory company in the United Kingdom and entering the U.S. market in 1996. For more on the company, visit britaxusa.com.

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