The Nördlingen, Germany-based Company, which specializes in seating for buses and trains, will invest $3.78 million to lease and equip a 20,000 square-foot facility located at 4519 Wyland Drive. As part of the project, Kiel will purchase new machinery and information technology equipment for its facility slated to be operational this fall.
Kiel, which currently employs approximately 750 associates worldwide, plans to begin hiring new administrative, engineering, sales and production associates this October.
"Kiel has become a well-known and trusted strategic partner in the European market. So it only makes sense for us to expand to North America," said Mark Walter, director of finance at Kiel North America. "Indiana is a great location to set up our base of operation due to economic reasons as well its central location in the United States."
Founded in 1945 by Franz Kiel, the Bavarian company began operations as a manufacturer of rigid seating frames before producing adjustable passenger seats known commonly as the "Greyhound Seat." Kiel, which offers prototype creation and testing services for customers, operates eight facilities throughout Europe.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Kiel NA, LLC up to $300,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $150,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Elkhart approved additional property tax abatement.
Kiel is the leading European manufacturer of passenger seating systems for buses and trains. In addition, Kiel has supplied seats in the US city bus market over the last few years. Currently more than 500 city and intercity buses are running with Kiel seats in the North American market. Furthermore, Kiel has won all Canadian Tram projects LRV for Toronto and will manufacture seats for approximately 400 trams in Elkhart. We concentrate on the advanced individualization of our products in terms of appearance, in combination with ergonomics that are adapted to anticipated journey lengths, with the lowest possible weight and price for the whole unit. Kiel will be working with Transit Marketing Group to get our seats in the Transit Authorities across the U.S.
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