Bilstein Group, a family-owned German automotive supplier, will invest $120 million to establish a new production center, Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel LP, in Bowling Green, Kentucky
Founded in 1911 in Hagen, Germany, Bilstein Group has grown to be the world’s largest supplier of cold-rolled products. In order to better serve its North American automotive industry customers, Bilstein Group plans to construct and operate a 150,000-square-foot cold-rolled steel manufacturing facility in the 72-acre Kentucky Transpark in Bowling Green, creating 90 jobs.
“We are absolutely certain that Bowling Green is the perfect spot for our new state-of-the-art cold rolling mill, our most advanced annealing furnaces and slitting operations,” said Marc T. Oehler, CEO and partner of Bilstein Group. “Being both sufficiently close to our customers, suppliers and well within reach from Europe and any place in North America was critical to our decision.”
“We have experienced not only an extremely professional and solution-focused support from both the Commonwealth as well as the city of Bowling Green and Warren County community from the very start,” said Oehler. “We also felt a lot of passion and personal effort from everyone involved, and I am very grateful for that. I am still excited to see the enthusiasm of all team members within Bilstein Group and within the Kentucky/Bowling Green team, including Gov. Beshear who found the time to visit our facilities in Germany during the preparation period of this project. Besides the perfect fit of the selected site to our ideas and plans, the spirit we found in Kentucky and within the team was a major reason to choose Bowling Green as our premier location in the U.S.”
Design of the new facility will begin immediately with construction set to begin in the spring of 2015. The plant is expected to be operational by early 2018.
“TVA and Warren RECC are pleased to partner with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Bowling Green Area Chamber and local community leaders to help facilitate Bilstein Group’s first U.S. location, which will result in new jobs and prosperity for the region,” said TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley.
“It is with great pleasure that Kentucky welcomes Bilstein Group as its newest corporate citizen, one that will significantly enrich the South Central Kentucky region, as well as the entire Commonwealth,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “The fact that world-class companies such as Bilstein Group continue to choose Kentucky as the destination for their global operations speaks volumes for the pro-business climate and workforce quality we have to offer. I congratulate Bilstein Group on its continued growth and look forward to building upon our partnership for years to come.”
As an incentive to encourage the investment and job creation in Bowling Green, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $3.5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
KEDFA also approved Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel LP for tax benefits up to $1.4 million through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment. Warren County has also been certified by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board as a Work Ready Community.