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Germany-Based Webasto Roof Systems Expands Production at Lexington, Kentucky Campus

09/04/2018
As sunroof supplier Webasto Roof Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Germany-based Webasto Group, will add a new production line and undertake a $15.2 million investment at its manufacturing plant in Lexington, Kentucky. The company plans to create 183 jobs.

In the two-year project, company leaders plan to add the new production line in one of two existing facilities in the Blue Grass Business Park, where the Webasto became the first tenant in 1998, Governor Matt Bevin’s Office said. The line will manufacture high-tech, electronically tintable all-glass panorama roof systems, which include optional tilt-slide sunroofs, for luxury vehicle marques.

“Before the end of the year we will launch three completely new sunroofs with two different customers. These launches will continue into next year with increased volumes,” said John Wilder, Webasto Roof Systems Plant Manager. “Our technology is some of the best offered by any manufacturers anywhere in the world, these are truly exciting times for Webasto and our Kentucky family.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in August preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2 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. In addition, Webasto can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network.

The 572-employee Kentucky campus, which includes dedicated space for an employee training “dojo,” is part of Webasto Roof Systems, a subsidiary of Stockdorf, Germany-based Webasto Group. In its core business areas, the company develops and produces sunroofs, panorama roofs and convertible roofs as well as thermo systems for all drive types. In addition, Webasto is expanding its product portfolio for electromobility with battery and charging systems.

“Webasto is a respected employer in Fayette County and has been a top-quality supplier to automakers around the world over the past two decades,” Governor Matt Bevin said. “The company is indeed taking its business to the next level with this significant expansion that will create more than 180 jobs in the Lexington area. This project is further evidence of Kentucky’s position as the center of engineering and manufacturing excellence in America. We are grateful to Webasto for their continued commitment to the Bluegrass State and our strong workforce.”

Rep. George Brown Jr., of Lexington recalled, “I was proud to be part of Commerce Lexington and the mayor’s training center when Webasto first came to our community two decades ago and hired its first 100 workers, so I am definitely pleased to see the company invest even more and add to the thriving economic corridor in the northwest corner of Lexington.” Commerce Lexington Inc. President & CEO Bob Quick said, “Since Webasto located to Commerce Lexington’s business park 20 years ago, our team has enjoyed the strong partnership with the company. Manufacturing and foreign direct investment are key components of our economy, and we are thrilled with Webasto’s confidence to expand in Lexington.”

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