Grote Industries has relocated its European headquarters to take advantage of the Bavarian Automotive and Sensor Technology clusters in Germany, the company said.
The move, to Niederwinkling near Straubing, Germany, will also help the company handle the growth it is experiencing in LED interior lamps, LED work lamps and modular harness and power delivery systems. In addition, Grote has hired Klaus Vetterl to fill the position of managing director of European operations.
“In Bavaria we are close to our major sales markets,” Vetterl said. “Grote Industries expects this new site to bring advantages, especially with a view to Eastern Europe. Bavaria has very good links that should benefit us, for instance with Russia.”
According to Vetterl, the new location will be ideally situated near other major vehicle component suppliers. “We rely on top technology,” he said. “The Bavarian networks will therefore be of great benefit to us, for cooperation projects in product development or when looking for highly qualified employees.”
The relocation is part of a five-year plan that includes adding on-site engineering project management. The Niederwinkling site will be the base for Grote’s planned expansion throughout Europe, Asia and Africa, the company said. Sales, marketing and distribution will be the initial focus at the site, but Grote has recently netted a major contract with a commercial vehicle manufacturer in Europe and is exploring the idea of setting up a manufacturing facility in Niederwinkling.
“Grote is a family-owned business with a rich tradition of original thinking that continues to be one of the most innovative thought leaders in the global vehicle lighting industry,” said Vetterl. “We’re in the business of changing the way the transportation industry sees light and how it fits into their business objectives.”
Vetterl joins Grote after 30 years with Siemens VDO, where he was vp of operations and managed six factories. Grote also has facilities in Canada, Mexico and Asia as well as corporate headquarters in Madison, IN. Its European base had been located in Spain since 2005.