Kiekert expanding Wixom development and manufacturing facility
WIXOM, Mich. — Kiekert, the technology leader in automotive locking systems, has started to invest $1 million to expand its U.S. development and manufacturing center in Wixom this year.
In total, Kiekert will have invested more than $2.2 million to expand its local test and prototype-development facilities and its production capacity since 2013. The improvements will nearly triple production at the Wixom plant from 350,000 door-latch modules in 2013 to more than 1 million units this year. New construction will have added 15,000 square feet to the now 50,000-square-foot Wixom facility.
Production at Wixom is expected to grow by steadily over the next several years. Check for Kiekert jobs here.
“Kiekert Wixom is a major driver of innovation. Its dedicated sales team operates as the first point of contact for the automakers in North and Central America,“ said Mike Hietbrink, General Manager Kiekert USA and Global Sales Director. He noted that Kiekert’s 120 Wixom employees focus on the development of products to address market trends including digitization, mobility, convenience and urbanization. As the company’s lead engineering and program management center for the NAFTA region, Kiekert’s Wixom location is responsible for nearly $ 200 million in annual revenue together with its sister plant Kiekert Mexico. Today Kiekert has a market share of 25 percent in the NAFTA region, selling to customers that include the U.S. Big Three, as well as other North American automakers. Hietbrink added, “Starting in 1994, Kiekert Wixom became a sought-after partner for R&D in North America. We will continue our path of innovation and exploring global mega trends such as autonomous driving, interconnectivity and digital solutions to serve the rising needs of our customers.”
Kiekert has more than 20 development projects underway with carmakers that could lead to series production in the coming years. Recent technology developments at Kiekert include the E-Latch, the LED-Latch and the Kiekert i-protect. With the Kiekert E-Latch, contact with an electronic touch sensor on the door’s “outer skin” opens a vehicle door automatically. Lower operating forces and an improved door handle look-and-feel offer both an added styling element along with a new level of comfort. E-Latches are more compact, has fewer components and weighs less than today’s locking systems. For safety’s sake, the modular Kiekert E-Latch also offers full mechanical redundancy to guarantee operation in the event of a power failure. The system also could play a significant role in future autonomous vehicles as well.
READ MORE of this story at Kiekert. Photo courtesy of Kiekert.