Apparel Sourcing Intelligence - Worldwide

Local politicians expect Santana to expand operations in Texas “some time in 2015”

“Santana will open very soon,” said a Santana representative on January 13 about its much-delayed Texas operation as local authorities in Edinburg approved a resolution that supports the company’s application for federal new market tax credits.

Claudio Jose Motta de Carvalho, the Edinburg plant manager, said they are planning to hold a grand opening in this summer.

Gov. Rick Perry announced a $1.65 million grant to the company in 2008 through the Texas Enterprise Fund. Only $800,000 was awarded though, and more than $280,000 was levied against the firm in “clawback” penalties for missed production and job creation deadlines.

A 2012 audit found the company hired only 38 employees since the project began but the agreement was amended and they have until 2019 to comply and still have a chance at full funding. Another $5 million loan was approved for Santana through the Texas Leverage Fund, an entity that borrows against future sales tax revenue.

Company representatives pointed to a hike in cotton prices when the plant was under construction and strict trade policies in Argentina to the sluggish growth.

There is still no sign of any kind of definitive opening date – seven years after public money was first approved to subsidise this project