Automotive locking-systems supplier Kiekert opens a new production facility in Wixom, MI.

The company’s previous production facility in Wixom, 33 miles (53 km) northwest of Detroit, will continue to serve as Kiekert’s R&D center. It leads the company’s engineering and program-management activities for the NAFTA region.

The manufacturing relocation is part of a $3 million expansion designed to double Kiekert’s production capacity in the U.S., the company says in a news release. Production of latch modules at the new facility is expected to exceed 1 million units in 2018 compared with 350,000 five years ago.

The company will add 30 new jobs at its new production location to support the expansion, says Mike Hietbrink, Kiekert’s global sales director and general manager-U.S. operations. Kiekert says its Wixom facilities and its sister operations in Mexico are responsible for over $220 million in annual revenue and account for a 25% share of the NAFTA market for automotive locking systems.

Kiekert has multiple development projects under way with automakers in North America that are expected to further increase sales in the next five years. Projects involve the supplier’s E-Latch, i-move and i-protect systems.

Kiekert employs more than 6,500 people in 11 countries and operates eight production, seven development and three sales centers.

jirwin@wardsauto.com