Berkshire Hathaway’s Shaw Industries Group, Inc. has announced its grand opening of a 210,000-square-foot carpet tile plant in Nantong, China – a port city 65 miles north of Shanghai. This facility offers customers in Asia quicker access to a wider range of completely recyclable, cradle-to-cradle-certified products, which are PVC-free and bitumen-free.
“Nantong’s woven textile heritage mirrors the communities in which we’ve manufactured flooring in the southeastern U.S. for more than half a century,” says Shaw Industries vice president for Asia Pacific Jeff Galloway. “The feeling of being at home in China is due in even larger part to the reception and cooperation we’ve enjoyed from the Nantong government, the officials in the Nantong Suzhou Science and Industrial Park, and all those with whom we’ve done business in China, including our newest Shaw associates.”
Expected to employ approximately 250 at full capacity, over 100 Shaw associates are onboard at this time. The 24”x24” and 18”x36” products are being designed in Cartersville, GA, for global markets, utilizing the successful Eco Solution Q fiber, EcoWorx backing systems, and Ecologix carpet cushioning systems. Products manufactured in China will be sold for installation in the growing Asia market and there are no plans to export them back to the U.S.
“Two-thirds of the world’s carpet tile is sold outside of North America, the majority in Asia,” says Shaw Industries chairman and CEO Vance Bell. “Sales in China, in particular, have grown 20% annually, making it the world’s third largest carpet-tile-purchasing country. Our new plant expands our opportunity to serve this growing market.”
This plant opening represents Shaw’s latest efforts to expand its Asia market presence, which includes showrooms or sales teams in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangalore and New Delhi. The Nantong facility is pursuing ISO 9001 and 14000 certifications and was constructed to LEED Gold standards for New Construction (certification pending review).
The China facility grand opening follows Shaw's recent announcement to open a new carpet manufacturing facility in Adairsville, GA, to support the growth in its carpet tile business.