WKW Roof Rail Systems to add 185 new jobs

WKW Roof Rail Systems, an automotive parts manufacturer that makes aluminum rails for car roofs, is bringing 185 jobs to Battle Creek.

The company plans to purchase the former Toyota Tsusho America facility in the Fort Custer Industrial Park, an investment of up to $23 million.

WKW automotive CEO Peter Kruft says that with the company's successful acquisition of  Bowers Manufacturing Company in Portage the management team realized a need to expand production.

"As we intend to build-up the extrusion business in North America in the same way we serve the European market, we need more space for anodizing and assembly of roof rail systems,” says Kruft.  

WKW Roof Rail Systems, LLC, is a newly formed subsidiary of WKW Erbsloeh North America, Inc. It is a subsidiary of WKW automotive located in Wuppertal, Germany. The company currently has a sales office in Troy and a manufacturing facility in Portage.

“WKW is an exceptional, global company, and we are thrilled to have them select the City of Battle Creek for their new location and future expansion,” says Battle Creek Unlimited President and CEO Karl Dehn.

Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Alabama and one other State.

As a result of WKW's investment, it received a $950,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. A request will be made to the City of Battle Creek for property tax abatement and two acres of land for future expansion.  

The new business is one of a string of successes for Battle Creek, with 15 new companies or expansions announced in the last 18 months.

Source: Peter Kruf, WKW automotive