Fritz Winter Eisengiesserei is to plough more than EUR100m (US$109m) in the first phase of a new foundry and mechanical machining plant in Franklin, Kentucky.

After completion, the first element of the new plant will have an annual capacity of more than 60,000t and employ 200 people on an site of around 25,000 square metres. A later expansion is planned.

"The installation of our new plant in Franklin is an important milestone in our globalisation strategy." said Fritz Winter CEO, Jörg Rumikewitz.

"The central position in the East of the US and with this the proximity to our customers, the availability of highly skilled workers and the infrastructure on site were deciding for the choice of Franklin, Kentucky, as our new US headquarters."

For his part, Fritz Winter head of corporate development, Henning Knipper added: "With this step we continue to strengthen our position on one of the most important automotive markets in the world.

"The fact we have already received two orders from well-known premium manufacturers for the new plant shows also our customers are convinced of this strategy."

Start of construction in Franklin will be at the beginning of next year, with completion slated during 2017.