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Germany-based Fritz Winter North America Opens Franklin, Kentucky Casting Foundry

Germany-based Fritz Winter North America LP opened the first phase of its iron casting foundry and manufacturing facility in Franklin, Kentucky. The large-scale project will produce brake rotors and bring roughly 200 new jobs to the Southwest portion of the Bluegrass State.

The company’s Stadtallendorf, Germany-based parent, Fritz Winter Eisengießerei GmbH & Co. KG, invested $110 million in the initial phase, which could grow to about $194 million with a planned expansion. State officials said total employment could surpass 300.

Ulf M. Kranz, the company’s CFO, said the new facility helps Fritz Winter produce brake parts locally for global vehicle platforms. “After we have supplied the American market from Germany for more than 50 years now, our first iron foundry in the USA is an important milestone of our globalization strategy,” Kranz said.

“This investment and our ability to meet the requirements of globally thinking customers in the automotive industry increase the competitiveness of Fritz Winter and therefore contribute to safeguarding the existing employment at Stadtallendorf,” he added.

“After a construction time of not even one year, the first products rolled off the production line. This is a performance we can be really proud of,” said Jörg Rumikewitz, CEO of Fritz Winter.

The company cited Kentucky’s central location between American-owned automakers in the northern United States and European-owned automotive assembly plants in the South. The location also will bring opportunities for new business with customers in the commonwealth and Midwest.

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in December 2015 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.

Additionally, KEDFA approved Fritz Winter 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 also can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network.

“Fritz Winter is a global leader in the automotive supply industry, and we are thrilled to welcome the company’s operations to Kentucky,” said Governor Matt Bevin, who visited the German company’s headquarters during a Europe trip last year.

“This company is making a long-term investment, as its nearly $200 million foundry demonstrates, and their presence in Franklin is already creating hundreds of jobs. Fritz Winter’s Simpson County facility will prove to be a game-changer for countless families in the region. Kentucky is grateful for their strong vote of confidence,” he added.

Franklin Mayor Ronnie Clark noted that Fritz Winter’s impact will stretch beyond the community’s borders. “We appreciate the partnership we had with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development in landing the Fritz Winter project for Franklin, Kentucky,” Mayor Clark said. “Our local high school students, along with many residents of Franklin, now have a great opportunity for high-paying, skilled jobs with this excellent company. Fritz Winter will be one of the premier industries not only in Franklin, but in Kentucky as well. We are excited to have them as a part of our community.”


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