Kiel NA LLC, a manufacturer of seating systems for the transportation industry, announced Monday (July 2) it will open its first United States facility in Elkhart, Ind., creating up to 62 new jobs by 2015.
The German company, which specializes in seating for buses and trains, will invest $3.78 million to lease and equip a 20,000-square-foot facility at 4519 Wyland Drive, The Goshen News reported. As part of the project, Kiel will purchase new machinery and information technology equipment for its facility slated to be operational this fall.
“Indiana is known as one of the top jobs-creating locations in America and international leaders like Kiel continue to prosper in the Hoosier State,” said Gov. Mitch Daniels.
Kiel, which currently employs approximately 750 people worldwide, plans to begin hiring administrative, engineering, sales and production employees in October.
“Kiel has become a well-known and trusted strategic partner in the European market. So it only makes sense for us to expand to North America,” said Mark Walter, director of finance at Kiel North America. “Indiana is a great location to set up our base of operation due to economic reasons as well its central location in the United States.”
Founded in 1945 by Franz Kiel, the Bavarian company began operations as a manufacturer of rigid seating frames before producing adjustable passenger seats known as the “Greyhound Seat.” Kiel, which offers prototype creation and testing services for customers, operates eight facilities throughout Europe.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered the company up to $300,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $150,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The city of Elkhart approved additional property tax abatement.
“We are excited about Kiel’s investment in our community,” said Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore. “This is yet another example of an international company finding Elkhart as the ideal location to manufacture and distribute their products throughout North America. Companies around the globe are recognizing that Elkhart has a unique combination of location, work force and cost of doing business that makes our community second to none. We couldn’t be more pleased.”