LuK, a German-based automotive supplier with existing operations in Northeast Ohio, recently announced that it would expand its footprint in Wooster, marking a major win for the region. Already Wooster’s largest employer, LuK plans to add 250 new jobs as part of its expansion plan, while retaining another 1,767 jobs. LuK’s $60 million capital investment will be used to expand its existing automotive facility, which it uses to design and manufacture transmission system components. The company’s products are sold throughout the globe, making it a significant player in the automotive industry.
The Schaeffler Group, LuK’s parent company, made the announcement at Hannover Messe, the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology, in late April. In a press release from JobsOhio, Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor stated this about the planned expansion:
“In a highly competitive global market, we are pleased that Schaeffler has chosen Ohio for this investment. It’s a testament to the strength of its talented workforce in Wooster, and the 250 new jobs created through this investment will provide more opportunity for families across the region.”
Northeast Ohio’s Automotive Strengths
With deep ties to the automotive industry, LuK’s recent decision to expand its operations in Northeast Ohio is a prime example of the many automotive-related businesses that choose to operate here. With some 26,000 workers who are specifically trained in the motor vehicles, parts and body manufacturing sectors, it is no surprise that so many automotive suppliers have found success in Ohio.
Not only does Ohio boast the second largest auto manufacturing workforce in the U.S., its employee costs are 10 percent lower than the national average for the top 10 auto-industry occupations in the country. The state’s strong automotive workforce is just one of the many factors that has helped attract international companies like LuK. Recognized as the largest automotive manufacturer in the U.S. outside of Detroit, the state’s automotive GRP is projected to grow 79 percent by 2024, a pace that is 19 percent faster than the rest of the nation. This strong growth is indicative of Ohio’s innumerable automotive strengths; strengths that continue to support expansion efforts like that of LuK in Wooster.
While LuK marks a major win for our region, it is just one example of the many automotive-related companies that have found success in Northeast Ohio. With ongoing automotive-related investments being made throughout the region, the automotive industry is on target to be an important economic driver for decades to come.