“Chattanooga is an ideal location to support the carpet industry,” said Bob Harding, president of Van de Wiele. “Proximity to Atlanta, with air links to the rest of the USA as well as Central America, will better position us to support knitting, weaving and tufting across an entire market.”
The new facility will include a state-of-the art sampling and development center for tufting, following Van de Wiele’s recent acquisition of tufting machine manufacturer Cobble.
“Chattanooga is the birthplace of tufting with a long tradition in the flooring industry,” said Charles Beauduin, CEO of Belgium-based parent company NV Michel Van de Wiele. “We see many Chattanooga businesses leading in their respective fields, and that bodes well for the future of the area.”
“We are very much looking forward to this exciting new chapter for the Van De Wiele Group of Companies in the USA,” said Harding, confirming that the company plans to move its entire U.S. operation to the Chattanooga area following completion of the new facility on Relocation Way in Ooltewah, slated for the end of 2014.
“Van de Wiele is a leader in the global textile industry, and it’s great to see a world class supplier not only establishing a presence in Chattanooga, but making Chattanooga operations central to their organization,” said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.
“It’s always exciting to add to our growing list of international companies, and I’m glad to see Van de Wiele building on Chattanooga’s expertise in the flooring industry,” said Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger.
Charles Wood, vice president of economic development at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, also applauded Van de Wiele’s decision. “Van de Wiele’s plan for the Chattanooga facility to represent the center of their U.S. presence speaks to the international appeal of Chattanooga and broadens our growing base of European companies.”