Will invest $194 million in project
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 10, 2015) — German-owned automotive parts maker Fritz Winter North America LP plans to build a $193.7 million foundry and production facility in Franklin, bringing 343 jobs to Simpson County, Gov. Matt Bevin announced today.
Fritz Winter plans to build a 240,000-s.f. facility in the Wilkey North Industrial Park. Construction could start early next year and casting and machining of disc brake rotors is expected to begin in 2017.
“The decision by Fritz Winter to select Kentucky for its new foundry underscores the advantages our state offers automotive suppliers,” said Bevin. “Our thriving automotive industry and central location provide quick access to assembly plants in the South and Midwest.”
Fritz Winter joins 64 other German-owned facilities already employing more than 10,500 full-time workers in Kentucky, Bevin said. “We believe that this connection between Kentucky and Germany will grow only stronger in the future as we focus on becoming even more business friendly.”
Founded in 1951, Fritz Winter is a world-market leader in the production of cast iron engine blocks and heads, brake rotors and drums, flywheels and hydraulic housings. It serves the international car and truck industry and has developed a competitive advantage in lightweight and material-specific design. The company, which remains family owned, began exporting to the U.S. in 1966 and currently employs 3,700 people worldwide.
“Franklin really meets all our requirements in terms of proximity to our customers, availability of skilled labor, favorable electricity costs and industry-specific training possibilities,” said Fritz Winter CEO Jörg Rumikewitz. “Moreover, Franklin—as well as the Commonwealth of Kentucky—showed tremendous effort in supporting the project. We truly look forward to a lasting future in Kentucky to the benefit of our customers and the community.”
Rumikewitz cited Kentucky’s central location between American-owned automakers in the U.S. North and European-owned automotive assembly plants in the U.S. South. He said the location will bring opportunities for new business with customers in the commonwealth and Midwest, too.
To encourage Fritz Winter’s investment and job growth in the Commonwealth, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
KEDFA also gave the company preliminarily approval for up to $690,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
Fritz Winter is also eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 5,600 Kentucky companies.