Leigh Miller for GlobalAtlanta
Madrid, Spain-based Corporacion Mapfre S.A. has selected Columbus as the location for Road America Motor Club’s new 24-hour roadside assistance call center.

Road America, headquartered in Miami with another call enter in Toronto, is a subsidiary of Mapfre, an international insurance provider.

Mapfre executives from Spain attended an Oct. 18 groundbreaking of the new 25,000 square-foot facility by the Chattahoochee River that was built by the Columbus Economic Development Authority on land donated by the city.

Columbus was selected out of 3,000 cities considered in a professional industry study for call center operations. The city was selected for its availability of up to 400 suitable employees and cost-effective property, Becca Brown Hardin, executive vice president of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce’s economic development division, told GlobalAtlanta.

A main advantage for locating the call center in Columbus was its physical location where the company would be able to maintain its 24-hour assistance services even in the event of a hurricane in Florida, according to a Road America spokesperson.

Columbus’ labor force, the presence of Ft. Benning military base, Columbus State University and the city’s favorable cost of living were other factors in the decision to open the center in Columbus, she added.

The new 285-seat call center in Columbus can handle more than 685,000 calls per month for roadside assistance and other services.

Road America, acquired by Mapfre in January 2003, offers services in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The company’s general manager for North America, Daniel Garcia Vega, is from Spain and was appointed by the Spanish parent company.

Originally founded in 1978 as a motor club, Road America provides 24-hour international assistance service programs through agreements with more than 100 corporate clients.

More than 16 million people in the U.S. have 24-hour Road America assistance coverage, including call center assistance for financial services, insurance, motorcycles and telematics.

The Mapfre Group, comprised of 244 companies employing 19,000 people, provides services in 39 countries.

For more information, visit www.road-america.com and www.mapfre.com. Contact Ms. Hardin at (706) 327-1566 ext. 30 or bhardin@columbusgachamber.com.