The Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce showed its appreciation earlier by naming Bitzer the 2013 Industry of the Year.
The opening ceremonies brought the company’s chairman and CEO from Sindelfingen, Germany, and his board of directors, who met with the local officials.
The next day, June 5, ZF Industries, which first arrived in 1986, celebrated the opening of its third facility in the county.
Its first facility in Gainesville, the county seat, was the company’s first in North America and built manual transmissions for Ford pickup trucks.
ZF Industries then increased its products to include gearboxes for off-highway equipment such as front-end and backhoe loaders. It also began to make axle drives for the Mercedes plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and General Motors.
The new products required a second facility, which is now complemented by a third, which is dedicated to the manufacture of gearboxes for windpower stations, marking the company’s branching out into the renewable energy sector.
During the opening ceremony, Franz-Josef Ambruster, head of the commercial vehicle, power-train modules unit of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, located in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, called the new facility the “cornerstone” of the business unit’s future growth.
ZF Industries currently has 550 employees in the county. The new plant brings the number of North American sites to 22 manufacturing locations with 16 in the U.S. and six in Mexico.
In addition to the boost Hall County’s economy gets from these German companies, it will benefit further from the opening of a 36,000-square-foot facility in the fall by Atlanta Biologicals Inc.
Atlanta Biologicals researches and manufacturers cell culture products for the biomedical and pharmaceutical industry.