Beshear welcomes second parts manufacturer to Murray, region

In a conference held Wednesday in the Murray Room of the CFSB center, Gov. Steve Beshear announced yet another German automotive company will soon be calling Murray home.

Kemmerich Metal Engineering, a well-known German automotive supplier, will be establishing not just a manufacturing operation in Murray, but the company also plans on making Calloway County the location of its U.S. headquarters.

The news of this venture comes just two months after Beshear revealed that a separate German automotive supplier, iwis, will be creating a U.S. manufacturing operation in Murray, investing $12.5 million and creating 75 new jobs.

“The good news keeps coming here in Murray, with yet another new company choosing to locate in this community and the Commonwealth,” Beshear said. “(Kemmerich) is exactly the type of company we want to locate here in Calloway County. It adds depth to our already rich and vibrant automotive industry … it also represents further growth in foreign direct investment in the Commonwealth.”

Both Kemmerich’s and iwis’s future endeavors in Murray were made possible by the governor’s trip to Germany and France last summer, this excursion also yielded the expansion of the L’Oreal plant in Boone County.

Kemmerich will be investing $12.5 million and will be creating an estimated 120 full-time area jobs.

Thomas Bergen, CEO of Kemmerich, said the 120 jobs promised was a “reasonable estimate”, and that in fact, many more than 120 jobs may actually be made available to the region.

“We chose Murray after a lengthy search throughout the United States,” Bergen said. “Three key factors were important to us: cost of production, workforce and logistics. We see that Murray offers lower costs of production, a highly flexible and qualified workforce and a favorable location.”

The location of Murray was particularly enticing to Bergen. He said the new plant’s position will be strategical so as to allow them to supply General Motors and Ford in the Midwest, as well as Mercedes, Volkswagen and BMW in the south.

Kemmerich has been specializing in metal processing for more than 115 years since its founding in 1897, and has been working for the automotive industry for more than 50 years becoming, a leader in fully automated assembly processes.

Aside from Beshear and Bergen, Mark Manning, president of the Murray-Calloway Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Jimmy Dan Hicks, chairman of the Murray-Calloway EDC, Larry Elkins, Calloway County Judge-Executive and Bill Wells, Mayor of Murray were also in attendance and spoke.

“Both as Mayor of Murray and a board member of the Murray-Calloway Economic Development Corporation, I am proud to welcome Kemmerich to our fine community,” Wells said. “A lot of hard work and cooperation has paid off in a big way, and we can expect great things from Kemmerich for a long time.”

As a show of good faith, the owner of Kemmerich, Josef Kemmerich, was also present at Wednesday’s announcement, although he did not speak.

Story by Ben Manhanke, Staff writer.