The KSM Castings Group, manufacturers of light metal automotive components, is moving forward with plans for a diecasting and machining operation in Shelby, NC, according to local reports. “Our company decided to expand a year ago,” according to Dr.-Ing. Frank Boshoff, CEO of the foundry group.

“We wanted to help provide our customers with parts that help reduce emissions while improving driving performance,” Boshoff continued.

The North Carolina plant will be 110,000-sq.ft. operation producing fully machined transmission, engine, and steering components.It is reported to be a $45-million investment, though details are spare. On its website, KSM offers that the operation is scheduled to be production in early 2014, and added that hiring and staffing would begin late this year.  The local reports indicate KSM will hire up to 189 workers.

According to the Shelby (NC) Star, the city is providing 20-year, industrial incentive grants worth $1.35 million, plus $250,000 as a one-time grant to encourage construction and operation of a new manufacturing plant. Cleveland County, NC, approved 10-year industrial incentive grants worth $1.3 million.

Also, the North Carolina Dept. of Transportation and the City of Shelby will build an industrial access road, according to the incentive agreement.

KSM has six diecasting, low-pressure sand casting, and permanent mold foundries in Germany, Czech Republic, and China, producing a range of automotive structural, chassis, and powertrain components in aluminum and magnesium alloys. Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes, Bentler, ZF, Daimler, and Bosch are reported to be among its automotive customers.

“Shelby met the criteria because of the infrastructure available, skilled workforce, and proximity to future customers,” according to Boshoff, CEO of KSM Castings, as quoted by the Shelby Star.

In 2011, KSM Castings was acquired by China's CITIC Dicastal Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (a manufacturer of automotive wheels) for a reported $430 million. Until 2005, the foundries had been an operating group of ThyssenKrupp AG.  At that time, the private equity group Cognetas led a management buyout of the company.