A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Disc Brake manufacturer Fritz Winter’s iron casting foundry to bring 200 jobs to Simpson County

Fritz Winter North America LP has opened phase one of its iron casting foundry and manufacturing facility in Franklin, a large-scale project producing brake rotors and bringing about 200 new jobs to Southwest Kentucky.

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. Total employment could surpass 300.

“Fritz Winter is a global leader in the automotive supply industry, and we are thrilled to welcome the company’s operations to Kentucky,” said Gov. 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.”

Company executives announced the project in December 2015 and construction of the facility began in late 2016 in the Wilkey North Industrial Park. Employees at the facility began casting and machining disc brake rotors in June and celebrated its grand opening along with state and local officials in late October.

“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 US 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.

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.”

Founded in Stadtallendorf, Germany in 1951, Fritz Winter is a world-market leader in the production of cast iron engine blocks and heads, brake rotors and drums, flywheels and hydraulic housings. It serves the international car and truck industry and has developed a competitive advantage in lightweight and material-specific design. The family-owned company began exporting to the US in 1966 and currently employs 3,700 people worldwide.

For more information on Fritz Winter, visit www.fritzwinter.de.

A detailed community profile for Simpson County can be viewed at http://www.thinkkentucky.com/.

From Governor’s Office

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