Otis Elevator Co. announced it is curtailing its supply chain functions in Tucson and manufacturing plant in Nogales, Sonora, as part of a consolidation into a new manufacturing center in Florence, S.C.

The company said it expects to complete the transition by the end of 2012 but hasn't fully finalized details on the plant closures. Otis has only three employees in the Tucson office, 2301 N. Forbes Blvd., and, an estimated 400 working at its maquiladora in Nogales, which currently manufactures nearly all of Otis' products for North America.

In a statement, the company said it has offered a number of employees at the existing sites the opportunity to relocate to South Carolina but it is too early to tell how many will move.

Besides Tucson and Nogales, Otis said it would tranfer employees to South Carolina from Farmington, Conn., and Bloomington, Ind. The company's headquarters, however, will remain in Farmington.

Otis Elevator Co., a division of United Technologies Corp., said the fact that 70 percent of its U.S. customers are east of the Mississippi, construction of the new automated facility means the company will be able to deliver its products to most of its customers more cost-efficiently. The company is investing $40 million to renovate a 423,000 square-foot former Maytag manufacturing facility.

The company said the South Carolina plant will bring with it 360 jobs paying an average of $25 per hour.

To lure Otis, the county in South Carolina has agreed to reduce its property taxes for 30 years and pay $1,000 for each county resident hired who stays at least three years up to 400 employees.