German automotive supplier to locate in North Charleston

The Post & Courier
Warren L. Wise
November 13, 2013

A Germany-based automotive supplier will set up shop later this month at Clemson University Restoration Institute in North Charleston, creating seven jobs initially.

FEV GmBH develops advanced powertrain and vehicle technologies and is one of the first companies to locate in the Energy Systems Innovation Center at the Clemson satellite operation.

The location will provide design, analysis, prototyping and system development for the company. It also plans to develop and test in-vehicle systems and other technologies, including infotainment and telematics, which involves the combination of information and communication technology such as automotive navigation systems.

“The North Charleston facility will provide a great deal of exposure to a wide variety of industries,” said FEV Inc.’s acting CEO Dr. Patrick Hupperich. “We believe this is a strategic location that creates an FEV engineering center of excellence in the Southeast to serve our customers in the region. It will also provide a launch point for business development and relationship-building activities with both current and potential customers, including those beyond our traditional service areas, such as aerospace, manufacturing, and advanced materials.”

Gov. Nikki Haley hailed the announcement as another example of advanced products being made in South Carolina and used around the globe.

“This research and development center not only provides a boost to the region’s innovation sector, but also solidifies South Carolina’s place in the nation’s manufacturing renaissance,” Haley said.

FEV’s new site in North Charleston will allow it to be close to customers in South Carolina and the Southeast with its expanding hub of automotive, energy and defense-related companies the company has supported for many years.

It also creates opportunities to explore partnerships with other technology companies that have moved to the area. Operations will begin in late November, following the dedication of the wind turbine drivetrain testing facility and smart grid simulator at the Restoration Institute on Nov. 21.

A Clemson official said the company’s decision to locate in North Charleston underscores the value of public-private partnerships between higher education and technology firms.

“This partnership has the potential to grow far beyond this initial commitment,” said John Kelly, Clemson University vice president for economic development. “FEV will bring talented engineers to the Charleston region, and we hope this initial step is just the beginning.”

The FEV Group employs more than 2,600 people at advanced technical centers on three continents. FEV Inc. has more than 450 employees in its North American Technical Center in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or

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