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Posted on Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 11:04 a.m.

Liebherr-Aerospace plans to expand Saline operation, add jobs

By Nathan Bomey

Liebherr-Aerospace Saline Inc., one of Saline's largest private employers, plans to add 33,000 square feet to its 100,000-square-foot facility in an industrial park on Woodland Drive.

The expansion — a project initially expected to take place in 2008 but delayed due to the global economic crisis — will position the German aerospace firm to handle increased demand for its services until at least 2014.

Liebherr's Saline operation examines and refurbishes used airplane parts that must be scrutinized after a certain number of years in use.

Alex Vlielander, president of Liebherr-Aerospace Saline, said in an email that the company expects to add between 15 and 20 "skilled technicians" to its landing gear services unit as a result of the expansion.

The company, which employs about 4,000 people worldwide in its aerospace and transportation divisions, has about 140 workers in Saline. That's down from about 150 in 2008 but up from 75 since 2003.

Liebherr had been expanding its Saline operation rapidly until the global economic crisis sparked a slowdown in the airline parts industry. The decision to move forward with the long-planned expansion points to an uptick in the company's business. The firm's Saline operation is servicing various manufacturers, including two different types of Embraer jets and aircraft made by Bombardier and Airbus.

The aerospace division shares its Saline facility with Liebherr's automotive division, which has another 33,000 square feet. After the expansion, the entire facility will total about 133,000 square feet.

Liebherr expects the expanded facility to be completed by spring 2012. Construction is expected to start within weeks.

The expansion will be directly attached to the company's existing facility on Woodland Drive.

Liebherr has yet to spell out a plan for 54.6 acres of farm property adjacent to its building that it acquired in 2008 to fuel its long-term growth.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 1:04 p.m.

NEKM, I don't want to catch you using any socialized roads, police or fire. Make sure you tell the members of the US military you find their socialism (free health care, child care, dental, clothes, food, low age retirement, no meritocracy for advancement etc) abhorrent when you bump into them. What absolute silliness, hung up on a word! And not only that, but making up his own definition based on propaganda put out by media elites and celebrity pundits. work·er (wûrkr) n. 1. a. One who works at a particular occupation or activity: an office worker. b. One who does manual or industrial labor. 2. A member of the working class worker [?w??k?] n 1. (Business / Industrial Relations & HR Terms) a person or thing that works, usually at a specific job a good worker a research worker 2. (Business / Industrial Relations & HR Terms) an employee in an organization, as opposed to an employer or manager 3. (Business / Industrial Relations & HR Terms) a manual laborer or other employee working in a manufacturing or other industry Looks like the author used the term correctly, whereas the poster is confused about the American language. com·rade (kmrd, -rd) n. 1. A person who shares one's interests or activities; a friend or companion. ie, members of the Tea Party are comrades too!


Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

Actually NEKM, America is a combination of capitalism and socialism, just like every industrialized democracy in the world. Not as autocratic as our main competitor, China, nor as growth oriented. Not having state run energy companies, state run investment firms and state run computer firms seems to be putting us at a disadvantage. China Petroleum and Chemical Corp China National Petroleum CNPET.UL and State Grid STGRD.UL Aluminum Corporation of China Chinese govt owns 27% of Lenovo <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Comrade.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 10:52 p.m.

Wow. That's why our representatives can't come to agreement these days. Getting stuck on a word that is very general, but does actually describe these jobs is representative of how we argue. I suspect that Nathan Bomey used that word in that sentence, because he had already used &quot;employs&quot; and did not want to repeat the word. The article contains words like &quot;skilled technicians&quot; and &quot;employs 4000 people world wide&quot;. Let's just cheer that a local company is adding jobs which could have gone elsewhere.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 7:04 p.m.

I like using team member for all positions. I have used this terminology for many years no matter what company or organization I was with - union and non-union.

Buster W.

Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 6:54 p.m.

WalMart respects their employees by calling them &quot;associates&quot;.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 5:54 p.m.

The definition of a worker is one who works. Managers work at managing. Assembly line workers work at assembling. Lathe operators work at lathing. All are workers. All are employees. To assume that a manager doesn't work implies you have never been a manager and fail to understand the duties and responsibilities of the manager. Need to know more than just the little bit of information that you consider to be &quot;everything&quot;; comrades.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 5:13 p.m.

nekm1's point is also correct in that by referring to all the employees as &quot;workers&quot; includes managers. We all know is wrong because putting the word &quot;manager&quot; and &quot;work&quot; in the same sentence is flawed language.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

Nekm1 has it right not left. They are employees they are not wards of the &quot;state&quot;. It is good to see some growth some will likely blame George Bush some will give the credit to Snyder where it may belong. However or whatever you choose it is good for the State that was 50 of 50 for so long under MS Granholm. We are the &quot; Great Lake State&quot; and we are and always will be the Great State of Michigan believe but do not BELIEVE in Change.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 4:03 p.m., for those of us that still view America as a capitalistic, not socialistic, or communistic society, would you please call them &quot;employees&quot; and not workers? Next you will be using the term &quot;comrades.&quot;


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 7:01 p.m.

I disagree. A &quot;worker&quot; produces stuff which can be sold. An employee may not accomplish any work which includes many of the executives and their &quot;suck-ups.&quot;