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German auto supplier Stoba to open 1st U.S. facility in Berkeley County

Manufacturing
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Stoba, a German-based manufacturer of machined components for the automotive sector, plans to enter the U.S. market with a new production plant in Berkeley County.

The company expects to invest $7.7 million and create 61 jobs at its new Charleston site, according to a news release from the state Commerce Department. Stoba will lease a 43,000-square-foot facility at 2301 Charleston Regional Parkway, off Clements Ferry Road in Charleston.

Stoba CEO Christoph Bode said new employees will undergo training at the company’s new Berkeley County facility. He said the company will mostly be hiring CNC machinists and assemblers. (Photo/Liz Segrist)The German firm produces complex machined components for high-pressure injection systems, such as steel parts for gasoline direct-injection fuel systems.

The company was founded in 1961 and now has more than 800 employees at facilities around the world. In 2013, the company expanded out of Europe into China, before deciding to enter the North American market.

During a news conference Tuesday in Charleston, Stoba CEO Christoph Bode said the decision to come to the United States was driven by a desire to be closer to their customers, like Bosch, and a growing demand in the U.S. for fuel-saving gasoline direct-injection systems.

Bode said he sees growth opportunities for his company with the region’s existing presence of tier-one automotive suppliers, like Bosch and Cummins, and the growing number of automotive original equipment manufacturers, like Volvo Cars, in South Carolina.

The proximity to the Port of Charleston, the available workforce to create machined components and the recruitment process with Berkeley County and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance also enticed Bode to set up operations in the Lowcountry, he said, rather than in Mexico or Virginia, which were also contenders for the site.

Hiring for the new jobs will begin in the third quarter. The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project. The Commerce Department did not release any details about the credits.

Reach Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119.

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