Revving Up: Vehicle Accessory Group Opens $65M Headquarters in North Texas

Vehicle Accessory Group is moving jobs from California and New York to a new corporate headquarters in Mesquite, where a new facility will create more than 600 manufacturing jobs. Texas Gov. Abbott presented the company with a proclamation last week, saying the move exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit and thriving business climate of Texas.

“Made in Texas” remains a powerful global brand, Governor Greg Abbott declared on Twitter last week after celebrating the grand opening of Vehicle Accessory Group’s new corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility in Mesquite. The $65 million investment is set to create more than 600 manufacturing jobs in North Texas.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Abbott emphasized Texas’ role as a leader in the automotive industry. “We’re proud that Texas is home to the world’s best automotive companies,” he said, noting that the company’s move brings more than 300 jobs from New York and California. 

The event was attended by Vehicle Accessory Group Chairman J. Pearson, Toyota North America’s Chris Nielsen, Mesquite Mayor Daniel Aleman Jr., and City Manager Cliff Keheley. Governor Abbott presented a proclamation to Pearson, recognizing the significance of the new headquarters and manufacturing facility at 2800 Scyene Road in Mesquite. “Texas is the economic engine of America, where entrepreneurs can cast a vision and know they live in a state where they can achieve it,” Abbott said.

The proclamation praised the “Gone to Texas” spirit embraced by companies like Vehicle Accessory Group, which has driven job growth, tax revenue, and economic development. Vehicle Accessory Group’s move to Mesquite is part of a broader trend within the automotive industry to relocate to Texas, according to the document: “Since 2009, automotive exports have more than doubled in Texas, and Vehicle Accessory Group will help continue this economic boom. The company has built and sustained a reputation of excellence, and in due course, your achievements will echo throughout the Lone Star State.”

Gov. Greg Abbott at the the Vehicle Accessory Group ribbon cutting in Mesquite. [Photo: Office of the Governor]

Speaking to more than 150 business leaders and local officials, Abbott touted the achievements of Texas’ $2.4 trillion economy, which has been named the Best State for Business for 20 consecutive years and has won the Governor’s Cup for the most corporate relocation and expansion projects for 12 years in a row.

“Companies like Vehicle Accessory Group know that when they bring their business and their employees to Texas, our great state can deliver the business climate, workforce, and infrastructure they need to thrive,” Abbott said. 

Presenting a proclamation at the Vehicle Accessory Group ribbon cutting in Mesquite. [Photo: Office of the Governor]

Citing cost savings and ‘positive impact’ on employees for the move

Pearson echoed the benefits of relocating to Texas, noting the significant cost savings and positive impact on employees in an NBCDFW interview. “Our lease here was half the price of California, half! So that really helps out,” he said. “We also gave some of that money to our employees.”

Vehicle Accessory Group has become a leading manufacturer of automotive dealer-installed accessories for OEM manufacturers and holds a number of patents on exclusive auto products. It’s established as a significant player in the automotive accessories market, which surpassed $196 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a 5.5% CAGR from 2023 to 2032, according to a GMInsights report last October.

VAI sells to leading automotive OEMs, including Toyota, Lexus, Ford, Subaru, Nissan, Infiniti, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, General Motors, and Chrysler. The company makes protective door edge guards, all-weather floor mats, splash guards, body-side moldings, bumper protectors, door sills, and other add-ons for the automotive industry.

Cutting the ribbon at the Vehicle Accessory Group grand opening in Mesquite. [Photo: Office of the Governor]

Portfolio firm of Kinderhook

The company is a portfolio firm under Kinderhook Industries, which manages over $4 billion of committed capital. In recent years, Vehicle Accessory Group has expanded its footprint in the auto accessories market through strategic acquisitions. In 2020 and 2021, the company acquired several businesses, including SOCKS in August 2020, Hope Valley in December 2020, and Remington Global in December 2021.

Prior to the 2024 grand opening, there were earlier announcements about Vehicle Accessory Group’s plans to move to Mesquite. In 2021, the Mesquite City Council passed resolutions for Vehicle Accessories, Inc. The initial plan involved 315 new manufacturing jobs with an annual payroll of $13.5 million, consolidating its operations from Buffalo, New York; Toronto, Ontario; Sunnyvale, Texas; and Magog, Quebec, into one Mesquite location.

At the time, Chairman Pearson said, “I can’t thank Mesquite enough for making this project a reality. We are committed to Mesquite. This is home.”

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