To accommodate the change, the company recently named a new head of European operations, Klaus Vetterl.
"In Bavaria we are close to our major sales markets," said Vetterl. "Grote Industries expects this new site to bring advantages, especially with a view to Eastern Europe. Bavaria has very good links that should benefit us, for instance with Russia."
Grote says sales and demand has been up for its LED interior lamps, LED work lamps and modular harness and power delivery systems. The international markets for its LED lighting products include trucks of all sizes, utility and rescue vehicles, farm machinery and military vehicles, among others.
The company says its Ultra-Blue-Seal modular power delivery system has also been gaining traction in Europe. The UBS system is the company's best-seller in the North American heavy-duty trailer market, with nearly 3.5 million system components sold annually.
As part of the plan, Grote is adding on-site engineering project management and most likely new high-wage staff positions. The company expects the initiative to spur expansion into Europe, Asia and Africa, focusing on sales, marketing and distribution at the beginning. A manufacturing plant is also in the pipeline for the Niederwinkling site.
Vetterl joins Grote after spending 30 years with Siemens VDO, where he was vice president of operations, managing six factories.