Maker of precision timing gears to expand operations; Getrag to add 200 highly skilled workers

For Immediate Release
December 1, 2000

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – Getrag Precision Gear Company LLC announced today a $40 million expansion of its existing local operation. The company, which manufactures vehicle timing gears, is building a new 150,000-square-foot facility west of the Ashley River in Charleston County. Today’s announcement was made in conjunction with the Charleston Regional Development Alliance.

Getrag currently operates a 150-person shop in the Cummins Engine Facility in North Charleston. Its new facility is expected to be operational by late 2001.

“We know from our success here in the Charleston region that we can count on local employees to produce a high quality product,” said Cesare Mastroianni, Executive Vice President of Getrag Gears of North America. “And we are also pleased with this region’s reasonable operating costs. These very issues – reliable, skilled labor and generally favorable business costs – drove our decision to expand here in the Charleston area, versus other areas we explored.”

Alliance Chairman William A. Moody welcomed the company’s expansion news, noting: “We work as hard for the competitive expansions as we do the new companies. And it is indeed heartening to see a company that does business all over the world recognize the tremendous competitive advantages here in our region. Getrag, we are pleased to see you growing and prospering here.”

Barrett Lawrimore, Chairman of the Charleston County Council, noted, “We’re elated with the decision by Getrag to stay and grow in the Charleston region, because we know a winner when we see one. This high-tech gear manufacturer has shifted into overdrive, growing its exciting business opportunities, diversifying its niches and winning new customers in the U.S. and abroad. This new West Ashley campus will position Getrag to continue in the forefront of its industry, and Charleston County government and the region’s citizens will be enthusiastic partners in the company’s prosperity.”

“Quality automotive suppliers, like Getrag, have been the catalyst for South Carolina’s economic successes,” said Governor Jim Hodges. “Getrag joins 200 successful automotive suppliers that also know the value of a South Carolina address. We are delighted they are expanding here.”

“Getrag’s expansion today demonstrates that South Carolina has what the most successful companies want – good, productive employees, resources close at hand, and a business climate that is conducive to profitability. All of these Getrag can find in the Charleston region,” said Secretary of Commerce Charles S. Way, Jr.

Getrag Precision Gear is one of the Getrag-Group companies, which is headquartered in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Worldwide the company employs more than 4,800 people with annual sales exceeding $750 million (U.S.). The company manufactures transmissions, rear axles and timing gears, and supplies these parts to the Big Three U.S. automakers, as well as to BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen and Cummins. The other Getrag-Group facilities in the U. S. are located in Maiden, N.C. and Sterling Heights, Michigan.

The Charleston Regional Development Alliance represents Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. Its mission is to broaden and diversify business investment in this region, with a new emphasis on technology-intensive business sectors. Since its inception, the Alliance has worked with thousands of companies to help promote business investment and quality growth in the area.

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