WIESELBURG, Austria, May 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- At a ceremony on 12 May, ZKW Holding Managing Director Armin Schaller, ZKW CEO Oliver Schubert and Miguel Marquez Marquez, Governor of Guanajuato, together with numerous guests, opened the new ZKW production plant in Silao, Mexico. In future high-quality main headlights for premium automobile manufacturers in the entire NAFTA region will be produced here. For this purpose the company is planning to create around 320 jobs in the region by 2018. "Opening this plant is a great step for ZKW. For the first time we have a production plant in the NAFTA region and are consequently opening up a new continent for our business. We are thus not only increasing our global footprint, but, in accordance with our strategy, also following our customers into new markets," explains CEO Oliver Schubert. ZKW Holding Managing Director Armin Schaller also emphasizes the important role of the new location: "Opening this plant is a further milestone in the success story of an Austrian company which, as a family business, has developed into a worldwide manufacturer of premium headlights. The plant in Mexico will mark the start of a new era for ZKW."
After the ground-breaking ceremony in October 2014, the Austrian lighting system specialist is now launching the first expansion stage of its new location in Silao, Mexico. The new building on the 116,700 square meter site will incorporate a production hall covering 21,900 square meters as well as offices and modern workplaces. The plant will be equipped with innovative technologies for producing high-quality automotive lighting systems. Plastic injection machines, hard coating systems for coating plastic headlight diffusers, metallizing systems for metallizing reflectors, paint lines and assembly lines for completing the products will be operated in the future. Pre-series production of premium main headlights has already begun. The full production capacity of around 700,000 headlights is scheduled to be reached by 2019. "The investment for the current construction stage of approximately US $70 million has been guaranteed. By 2019 the plant's planned annual sales will rise to around US $86.5 million," explains Mr Schubert.
Strategically ideal location
The new ZKW-plant is situated in the GTO Puerto Interior Business Park in Silao – in a central location and near to the car manufacturers in the NAFTA region. Mexico also offers various free trade agreements, and thus important customs advantages. "The business park provides an ideal environment for our production plant, because it is located at the heart of an up-and-coming region that promises success. The decision to locate ourselves here was totally correct," says Mr Schubert. The major significance of the investment is also stressed by Miguel Marquez Marquez, Governor of Guanajuato: "The Puerto Interior Business Park already accommodates 147 foreign companies which are playing an important role in the upswing in the region."
Skilled employees being sought
ZKW is looking for qualified skilled employees for the 320 planned jobs in the new production plant. In the coming years the need for staff could become even greater. "The Guanajuato region offers outstanding conditions for attracting employees, because there are almost 30,000 students on some 130 different courses, many of whom we can talk to as potential staff," says Mr Schubert. Guanajuato is regarded as one of the economically most dynamic federal states in Mexico with above-average growth rates. "The investments of companies like ZKW create new jobs and training posts. They also enable many students to pursue careers abroad," says Governor Marquez Marquez of the importance of the companies that have become established.
Photos of the facility and grand opening event can be downloaded from the media portal AMID-PR.
The ZKW Group is one of the world's leading providers of lighting and headlight systems for the automotive industry. The group designs and produces complex premium lighting and electronic modules for international automakers using state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies. Its top products include powerful and cost-efficient complete LED systems. The ZKW Group has a total of eight locations worldwide which are networked intelligently in development and production. In 2015 the group employed 5,800 people and generated overall sales of around EUR 800 million. 99% of all production is exported. In keeping with the corporate philosophy "Light Technology & Electronic Innovation", the company's primary aim is to produce high-technology products with the highest quality and drive the development of innovative headlight systems. Its range includes main headlights, fog lights, indicator lights, interior lighting and number plate lights for passenger vehicles, lorries and motorcycles. Products from the ZKW Group are used by well-known automakers such as AUDI, VW, BMW, Porsche, Daimler, Opel, Skoda, VOLVO Car, MAN, Scania Truck and VOLVO Truck, thereby playing an important role in improving road safety.
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