German-based auto parts supplier, Webasto Sunroof Systems, plans a $10 million expansion at its manufacturing and operations center in Lexington, Kentucky, creating 65 full-time jobs.
Webasto has developed and manufactured products for the automotive industry, such as sunroofs and temperature management systems, for more than 75 years. Webasto’s Kentucky facility, on Innovation Drive in Lexington, currently has a workforce of nearly 650 employees.
“We appreciate the cooperation shown by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and look forward to increasing our presence in Lexington,” said Dr. Holger Engelmann, deputy chairman of the Management Board, Webasto SE, and responsible for the roof division of Webasto. “With our investment in the plant, we will increase the capacity and upgrade the existing equipment. We started our production in Lexington in 2003, and today this plant is our largest production site for sun and panorama roofs in the United States.”
“It’s outstanding to see Webasto bring 65 new jobs and a $10 million investment to Lexington,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Through its rich history, Webasto has faced adversity, persevered through difficult economic times and emerged successful and stronger. This is an exciting time for the company, and a period when Kentucky’s automotive industry is moving forward and helping drive the economy in the right direction.”
“Auto suppliers and manufacturers, advanced manufacturers, have formed a cluster here in Kentucky,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. “Their proximity and relationships and the state’s educational and physical infrastructure have created a true global hub for automotive manufacturing. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and I have formed a partnership to build on that strength, to create a gravitational pull to the Lexington- Louisville region that will compel new automotive employers to move here, and encourage growth in companies, like Webasto, that are already here.”
As an incentive to encourage the investment and job growth in Lexington, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Webasto for tax incentives up to $1.2 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.