Grote Industries announced the relocation of its European headquarters to Niederwinkling, near Straubing, Germany. In addition to its world headquarters in Madison, Indiana, Grote maintains facilities in Canada, Mexico and Asia and had conducted its European operations from Spain since 2005.
Grote is moving and expanding its European base of operation due primarily to its growth and the increased market demand for its LED interior lamps, LED work lamps and modular harness and power delivery systems.
The company has also demonstrated its commitment to the long-term growth of its European presence by hiring top talent to manage its expansion from its Niederwinkling headquarters.
“In Bavaria we are close to our major sales markets,” said Klaus Vetterl, newly appointed Managing Director of Grote’s European operations, emphasizing Bavaria’s central location. “Grote Industries expects this new site to bring advantages, especially with a view to Eastern Europe. Bavaria has very good links that should benefit us, for instance with Russia,” Vetterl continued.
Grote manufactures and markets some of the world’s most advanced LED-based vehicle lighting products including its well-known LED WhiteLight brand of interior and forward lighting. International markets for Grote’s LED lighting products include trucks of all sizes, utility and rescue vehicles, farm machinery and military vehicles, among many others.
Grote’s Ultra-Blue-Seal (UBS) modular power delivery system has also been gaining ground in the European trailer market. The close proximity of other major vehicle component suppliers as well as a leading commercial vehicle manufacturer made Grote’s new location attractive. In Vetterl’s view, Grote Industries will benefit from the Bavarian Automotive and Sensor Technology Clusters. “We rely on top technology. The Bavarian networks will therefore be of great benefit to us, for cooperation projects in product development or when looking for highly qualified employees,” Vetterl noted.
Vetterl’s career includes 30 years of service with Siemens VDO, where he was Vice President of Operations, managing six factories with over EUR 400 million in annual revenues.
Grote’s relocation and expansion activities in the region are on schedule with its five-year plan. They are adding on-site engineering project management and initially the move is expected to result in new high-wage staff positions.
Grote plans to develop its new European headquarters as the center of its expansion into Europe, Asia and Africa. Initially, the focus will be on sales, marketing and distribution. However, Grote has recently secured a major contract from a European manufacturer of commercial vehicles and is also examining the possibility of setting up a manufacturing plant at the Niederwinkling site.
“Grote is a family-owned business with a rich tradition of original thinking that continues to be one of the most innovative thought leaders in the global vehicle lighting industry,” said Vetterl. “We’re in the business of changing the way the transportation industry sees light and how it fits into their business objectives. Superior lighting performance translates into superior human and vehicle performance and we call the associated productivity gains the Grote Performance Advantage. Grote will continue to be successful in Europe and beyond, because higher performance is a language that any business, in any country, can understand.”