ContiTech AG unit Stankiewicz GmbH has more than doubled the size of its parts plant in Spartanburg, S.C., to supply two Mercedes-Benz vehicles built in Alabama.
Stankiewicz spent about $10 million to expand the factory to 145,800 square feet from 70,632. It also increased its work force to 300 employees from 192 during the past several months, says Executive Vice President Oliver Storbeck.
He says Stankiewicz needed to expand the plant after DaimlerChrysler selected it to make parts for the Mercedes-Benz M-class and R-class luxury SUVs. Parts for M-class short-wheelbase and R-class short- and long-wheelbase vehicles already are being produced there.
Contract details weren't disclosed.
Stankiewicz will begin making parts for the M-class long-wheelbase SUV this month, Storbeck said.
DaimlerChrysler produces short-wheelbase vehicles for the European market; long-wheelbase models are earmarked for the United States.
"We are a new supplier (for the Mercedes) here in the U.S.," Storbeck said. "We have supplied them in Europe for some years."
DaimlerChrysler recently expanded its Vance, Ala., plant to increase production of both the M class and R class.
The automaker is Stankiewicz's largest customer. Stankiewicz produces more than 100 different automotive parts at the Spartanburg plant and supplies a variety of them for the M class and R class. Included are front-wall insulations and transmission tunnel sound dampening units for the engine compartment, driver floors and rear floors for the passenger compartment, liners for the
storage bay wheelhouse, absorbing layers for side panels and chassis rails as well as dampening film for A-pillars, crossrails, windshields, panel floors and transmission tunnels.
Power-steering lines for the vehicles are made by ContiTech Fluid Mexicana in Mexico City. The ContiTech Power Transmission Group contributes V-ribbed belts, ContiTech Air Spring Systems supplies steering gear boots, and fuel lines are produced by ContiTech.
Stankiewicz, of Celle, Germany, became part of ContiTech in 2004 when Continental AG purchased Phoenix AG for $275 million.
Continental eventually sold off parts of Phoenix, closed Phoenix's headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, cut 860 jobs and absorbed the remaining operation into its ContiTech industrial products unit.
In the first nine months of 2005, Continental's consolidated sales jumped 11.1 percent to $12.3 billion. Phoenix businesses contributed $881.9 million in sales.