KIRCHHOFF Automotive operates 26 factories in 11 countries. Photo: KIRCHHOFF Automotive website

A family-owned German automotive supplier is to set up its sixth U.S. factory in Lawrenceville, investing $15 million and creating 73 jobs. 

KIRCHHOFF Automotive, which makes structural auto body components like front ends, chassis and cross beams for Mercedes-Benz, BMW and other customers, will set up a 101,000-square-foot facility to serve customers in the region. 

BMW operates a major plant in South Carolina, while Mercedes-Benz has a factory in Alabama and runs its U.S. operations out of Sandy Springs. KIRCHHOFF prides itself on operating factories near its customers, reducing parts inventory with a just-in-time logistical model.  

KIRCHHOFF Automotive is putting its sixth U.S. factory in Gwinnett. It will assemble metal components sourced from around the country.

KIRCHHOFF becomes the latest addition to the nearly 100 German firms located in Gwinnett County, employing nearly 4,400 people, and it joins a strong contingent of automotive suppliers from the country with outfits across Georgia. The state’s Munich-based European investment recruitment team worked on the project, and Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson visited the company in December 2019. Georgia Quick Start, the state’s workforce training agency, and its Center of Innovation for Manufacturing were also involved.

Based in Iserlohn, a city of about 95,000 people in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the KIRCHHOFF Group started as a needle factory in 1785 and began producing its first automotive parts a century later before expanding into hand tools in the mid-20th century. In 1984, the automotive division embarked on a global expansion. KIRCHHOFF’s repertoire also includes garbage trucks and mobility-aid equipment installed through vehicle conversions. 

The company’s newest U.S. plant will perform final assembly of metal products sourced from other facilities in the country. KIRCHHOFF in total operates 26 factories across 11 countries.

Gwinnett officials welcomed the additional diversity the company offers to its business base, and noted that the company would benefit from the county’s diverse workforce.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...