Great Dane Trailers plans to build a new refrigerated trailer plant on a 118-acre site in Statesboro, Ga., northwest of Savannah.
The trailer manufacturer was founded more than 100 years ago in Savannah.

The plant, in its first phase, will encompass 450,000 square feet, including office and show room space, and will have the capacity to produce 5,000-plus trailers annually. At that level of production, the facility will employ more than 400 people.

"While many different sites throughout the Southeast region were considered, we believe the Statesboro location best meets our strategic and corporate needs," said Phill Pines, president and chief operating officer for Great Dane Limited Partnership.

"In addition to the economic and location considerations that were a part of our decision making process, we were impressed with the State of Georgia and Bulloch County's ability and willingness to effectively address our needs," said Pines. "They have been professional and have made us feel welcome and wanted."

The new plant will be less than an hour's drive from Great Dane's division offices in Savannah, which will remain home to its sales, marketing, engineering, and research and development center.

Construction is expected to get underway later this year to bring the plant into production in 2012.