German car parts maker Fritz Winter to build $193.7m Kentucky plant

Posted on 15 Dec 2015 by Tim Brown

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.

The investment was announced last week by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin who said the investment would bring 343 jobs to Simpson County.

“The decision by Fritz Winter to select Kentucky for its new foundry underscores the advantages our state offers automotive suppliers,” said Gov. 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. 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.”

The company plans to build a 240,000 square-foot facility in the Wilkey North Industrial Park early next year and intends to begin casting and machining disc brake rotors at the site in 2017.

“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 US South. He said the location will bring opportunities for new business with customers in the Commonwealth and Midwest, too.

Founded in Stadtallendorf, Germany in 1951, Fritz Winter Eisengießerei produces 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 US in 1966 and currently employs 3,700 people worldwide.

“We are excited to welcome this new investment of more than one hundred and ninety million dollars to Franklin and south central Kentucky,” said Sen. David Givens, of Greensburg.

“The 300-plus jobs created by Fritz Winter Eisengiesserie will have a tremendous economic ripple effect on our region. We celebrate this success and look forward to more as the community leaders and workforce of Simpson County excel at attracting and growing successful businesses.”