Indiana responded fast to German supplier plan

August 6, 2018 06:01 CET

When the German supplier ElringKlinger looked at Fort Wayne, Indiana, for a $23 million investment in green-tech automotive components this year, city officials moved fast to prepare.

Fort Wayne quickly granted a tax abatement to a local builder, who began building ElringKlinger’s manufacturing plant on spec, says Dan Watson, a spokesman for Greater Fort Wayne Inc., the local economic development agency. As a result, ElringKlinger was able to schedule the start of equipment installation in July.

It was a desirable prize for the city, as well as for Indiana. The German company supplies such next-generation auto technologies as fuel cell and battery systems, lightweighting components and heat shielding systems. The new Fort Wayne site – its fifth U.S. plant – will produce aluminum shielding systems for acoustic and thermal vehicle protection, as well performing logistics, IT and r&d operations.

ElringKlinger chose Fort Wayne for its proximity to nearby customers, as well as to its own plants in Michigan. The company supplies a number of U.S. automakers.

To seal the deal, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. granted ElringKlinger $1 million in tax credits and $200,000 in performance-based training grants. The state economic development agency said it wants to continue to spur such advanced manufacturing investment in the state.

“Indiana is focused on creating a diversified economy by propelling key industries like advanced manufacturing,” the development agency said in a statement. “By supporting the culture, resources and strategic initiatives needed to propel new advancements in this industry, we’ll ensure that Indiana remains a hub for innovation and continues to create great jobs in manufacturing and the growing tech sector.”

This story appears in the 2018 Guide to Economic Development in the Global Auto Industry. To view the entire supplement please click here.

You can reach Stephanie Hernandez McGavin at

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