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TMI AutoTech races toward the future with new production facility

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TMI AutoTech, producers of the Ariel Atom supercar, unveiled its new production facility in South Boston on Thursday.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the facility attended by local and state officials including Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the Commonwealth Maurice A. Jones, State Senator Frank Ruff and representatives of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.

The new facility is twice as large as the first and will allow TMI to add production of a second vehicle. This will result in 20 new jobs and $525,000 in capital investment over the next two years. TMI also plans to expand into producing precision designed parts for other manufacturers including carbon-fiber composite parts.

Mark Swain, vice president of TMI AutoTech, said, “Thoughtful and deliberate growth of our product offerings and skilled labor force have always been our goal within the tobacco footprint. With the support of the tobacco commission and Halifax County, we are able to use this new facility to improve our efficiency on vehicle builds, in addition to providing the space needed for upcoming in-house composites manufacturing. In-house manufacturing of composite panels will eliminate the need to import these from the UK, while at the same time providing a valuable new capability to the region.”

TMI AutoTech is the recipient of an $838,786 research and development grant from the tobacco commission.

Tobacco commission member Delegate James Edmunds added, “TMI’s expansion offers the promise of the kind of manufacturing jobs that once had Halifax County booming. The Ariel Atom and Ariel Nomad are certainly different from your ordinary street car or ATV and offers excitement in the area of performance racing – both on a track or through the fields,” said Delegate James Edmunds. “I’m thrilled they have found a home here and are expanding and proud that the tobacco commission could help with this project.”

The commission worked with the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority to bring TMI to Virginia.

Photo: Doug Ford / Gazette-Virginian. Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones (left) goes for a test drive in an Ariel Atom driven by TMI AutoTech Head of Sales Jesse Kenealy following a ribbon-cutting for the facility on Thursday.