Auto supplier to invest $57.8 million, build on vacant acres in Rochester Hills

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published October 30, 2018

ROCHESTER HILLS — German auto supplier Kostal Kontakt Systeme Inc. plans to build a new facility in Rochester Hills, investing $57.8 million into the community and creating 32 jobs.

Dr. Markus Bergholz, CEO of the KKS division, said the new state-of-the-art facility — which will be built on 18 acres of vacant land near Adams Road, with M-59 frontage — will house all engineering, sales, production and distribution operations servicing the North American market. Construction is expected to begin in 2020.

“The first phase will be to construct 130,000 square feet, but this land provides us the opportunity to grow to 300,000 square feet,” he said in a statement.

The company — which designs and manufactures electrical connectors, primarily for the automotive industry — will employ a total of 206 people at its new Rochester Hills facility to start, but Bergholz said plans include growing to up to 600 jobs.

As a result of the investment, the company has been awarded a $320,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said the city was successful, early on, in bringing the MEDC to the table to discuss a plan to ensure that KKS’ investment and job growth stayed in Michigan.  

“KKS was looking at other states, and we were thankful that the Michigan Strategic Fund approved a business development grant for the expansion,” he said.

The city, which also offered a 50 percent property tax abatement in support of the project, was chosen over a competing site in Alabama.

Barnett said Rochester Hills is thrilled that the company decided to invest, expand and create jobs in the city.

“We’ve been fortunate to build a working relationship with leadership, both here and abroad, and congratulate Kostal Kontakt Systeme on its growth and success and look forward to our future together,” he said in a statement.

President and CEO of KKS Inc. Holger Lettmann said the investment demonstrates the company’s strong commitment to the American auto industry.

“We look forward to our increased footprint in Michigan to serve our customers fast and flexible,” he said in a statement.

The new plant will replace the 80,000-square-foot facility at 1350 W. Hamlin Road in Rochester Hills that the company has rented for the past seven years.