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Fritz Winter North America Plans $193.7 Million Foundry-Production Center In Franklin, Kentucky

Germany-based automotive parts maker Fritz Winter North America plans to build a $193.7 million, 240,000-square-foot, foundry and production facility at Wilkey North Industrial Park in Franklin, Kentucky. The company expects to bring 343 jobs to Simpson County.

“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.”

Construction could start early next year and casting and machining of disc brake rotors is expected to begin in 2017. 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.

“The decision by Fritz Winter to select Kentucky for its new foundry underscores the advantages our state offers automotive suppliers,” said Governor Matt 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 Franklin Simpson Industrial Authority is very excited about the Fritz Winter plant locating in our Wilkey North Industrial Park,” said Gary Broady, Franklin Simpson Industrial Authority Board Chairman. “I have had an opportunity to tour the company’s facility in Germany and I know personally that Fritz Winter is an extremely impressive company. This project will have a tremendous impact on our community and our entire region”

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