Another German company has put down roots in the Chattanooga area, bringing the number to about two dozen in just the past decade or so.
Voestalpine Eifeler Coatings, based in Dusseldorf, has leased former plant space in Cleveland, Tennessee, where it will provide coatings for steel used in appliances and the aerospace industry, said Doug Berry, the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce's vice president of economic development.
"The region has done well [in attracting German companies]," Berry said. "We've got a real good mix."
Berry said the company is investing about $3.8 million initially at the 35,000-square-foot site off Old Tasso Road. The company anticipates hiring about 25 employees at full capacity, he said. Wages are in the $16 per hour range, Berry said.
German investments in Southeast Tennessee
* Volkswagen - Chattanooga
* Wacker - Charleston
* Voestalpine Eifeler Coatings
* Schnellecke Logistics - Chattanooga
* Draexlmaier - Chattanooga
* Naprotec LLC - Chattanooga
* Hoenigsberg & Duevel Corp. - Chattanooga
* B+M Surface Systems - Chattanooga
* Brenntag Mid-South - Chattanooga
* Bayer - Cleveland
* ThyssenKrupp Automotive Systems - Chattanooga
* BASF expansion - Chattanooga
* Stulz Air Technology Systems - Dayton
* Hubner Manufacturing - Dunlap
* DHL Supply Chain - Charleston
* Impregion Tennessee - Cleveland
* Lubing Systems - Cleveland
* Siemens Energy - McDonald
* Abresist Kalenbron Technologies - Soddy Daisy
* Montara North America - Ooltewah
* Nabaltec AG - Chattanooga
* Paul Mueller Packaging Solutions - Chattanooga
* T-Mobile - Chattanooga
* Viebahn North America - Ooltewah
* HP Pelzer - Athens
* Mann + Hummel USA - Dunlap
Source: Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The project was spurred on by the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership, in which Chattanooga, Cleveland and Dalton, Georgia, and other regional economic development groups agreed to start jointly marketing the region.
"That constant messaging has led to project leads like this," said Berry, noting the partnership is an outgrowth of the Thrive 2055 regional planning effort.
Charles Wood, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's vice president of economic development, said Southeast Tennessee has become "the European corner of the state."
He said German companies are aware of big businesses such as Volkswagen coming to Chattanooga in 2008 and "that gives us the good housekeeping seal of approval."
Also, Wood said, with VW based in the northern part of Germany and polysicon-maker Wacker, with a plant in Bradley County, based in southern Germany, that helps spread to word to other companies.
Wood said the regional economic partnership has been "a strong relationship across state lines."
The Voestalpine facility in Cleveland is expected serve the Southeast.
Jim Clay, Voestalpine Eifeler Coatings USA's general manager, said the location permits the company to improve service to existing customers.
Also, the site helps Voestalpine "expand the reach of our value-added services into new markets where physical vapor deposition coatings can help improve the manufacturing process and functional part performance," he said.
Berry said the company had been looking for a location within about 20 miles of downtown Chattanooga.
"We identified this building that had been occupied until late last year," he said. "It suited them perfectly."
Berry said the company wasn't provided with any financial incentives since it's leasing its space.
"I've got all the confidence that the company will be here many years to come," he said. "Hopefully it will grow into a future expansion opportunity."
In March, Gov. Bill Lee announced two more German businesses were to open factories in Southeast Tennessee with plans to create more than 300 jobs.
Stulz Air Technology Systems Inc. will set up manufacturing operations in Dayton, investing $2 million in an existing building and creating 250 jobs. Stulz will make precision heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment for computer data farms and other business uses.
Hubner Manufacturing Corp. will invest $9.6 million in putting up a new plant and hire 66 people in nearby Dunlap in Sequatchie County as it manufactures products for the transportation and energy sectors.
Contact Mike Pare at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.