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October 4, 2021

BorgWarner reopens tornado ravaged factory

Factory rebuilt and updated after the April 2020 tornado hit

By Graeme Roberts

BorgWarner has celebrated the reopening of its Seneca, South Carolina, factory, following a 16-month rebuild after the plant was ravaged by a tornado on 13 April, 2020.

“The outcome of this natural disaster has showcased our dedicated team’s ability to persevere and come together despite the challenges that were faced. More so, this experience has been a testament to the power of collaboration; within days of the natural disaster about 600 contractors were on site working together, including many local businesses and over 300 workers from our plant in Seneca and across North America,” said Joe McCulloch, plant manager.

“Beyond this exemplary level of collaboration, we had a strong community that rallied around and supported us, including the local schools, government, economic agencies and local businesses. For this, I want to extend a big thank you on behalf of BorgWarner to everyone that played a part in the rebirth of our beautiful facility.”

Despite significant damage from the tornado, the company’s quality and supply to the industry was not hindered by the unexpected event. In fact, BorgWarner was able to begin production of saleable transfer cases out of Seneca approximately three weeks after the tornado hit, with the total rebuild taking about 16 months to complete. While the facility was reconstructed to match the original footprint, the exterior appearance and interior offices and meeting spaces were upgraded to align with current BorgWarner standards.

The official dedication for the launch of the Seneca site occurred in September 1996. Over the last 25 years BorgWarner Seneca has grown to one of the largest employers in Oconee county, South Carolina with approximately 70% of its  workforce resident to the county.

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