Fruehauf North America and local leaders joined for the grand opening of the company’s new $15M, 290-job operation in Bowling Green, signifying the semi-trailer manufacturer’s return to production in the United States.
“I always love to see a new company locate in the commonwealth, but it speaks to our many advantages when a company decides to locate its first U.S. operation in 25 years in the commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said. “Fruehauf is a welcome addition to Kentucky and the Bowling Green area, and this is the start of what I know will be an excellent partnership for years to come.”
The new facility, announced in June 2021 and opened earlier this year, includes assembly of dry van trailers in Bowling Green’s Kentucky Transpark. Fruehauf closed its previous U.S. operations in 1997, exclusively manufacturing Fruehauf trailers in Mexico in the years since. So far, the company has filled 75 positions, with plans to add an additional 215 employees by the end of 2022.
“On target with our short-term goal to become a top-5 player in the region, this facility adds 5,000 units of capacity for a total of 13,000 units for Fruehauf North America,” said Eugenio Clariond, chairman of Fruehauf North America. “We will continue investing and developing our brand in the region and are delighted to have partnered with the Bowling Green community for this endeavor.”
Fruehauf has manufactured transportation products since it was established in Detroit, Michigan, in 1890. The company’s founder, August Fruehauf, was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2017 as the inventor of the semi-trailer. In addition to semi-trailers, the company produces dollies, platforms, container chassis, tanks and hoppers.
Currently, more than 525 automotive-related facilities operate in Kentucky, including four original equipment manufacturers. The sector employs 100,000 people statewide. Since the start of the Beshear administration, the industry has contributed to more than 90 announcements totaling $9.2 billion in new investments and over 11,000 full-time jobs.
Warren County Judge/Executive Mike Buchanon welcomed the company to Bowling Green.
“Fruehauf literally invented the semi-trailer, and the company is known the world over for their longstanding contribution to the transportation industry,” Judge Buchanon said. “We are delighted to be celebrating this new facility, which is Fruehauf’s first manufacturing plant in the United States in 25 years. Today’s celebration is a testament to our community being an ideal location to locate and grow a company.”
Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott noted the far-reaching impact of the project.
“By investing in Bowling Green, Fruehauf has created additional opportunities for all the businesses in our community,” Mayor Alcott said. “The impact of their investment will be felt by local retailers, restaurants, banks, service providers and more.”
Ron Bunch, president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, said this is the beginning of a successful partnership.
“The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce worked with Fruehauf to ensure that everything they needed to grow could be found in Bowling Green, and those promises have rung true,” Bunch said. “The Chamber is honored to provide the support Fruehauf needs as they operate in our community and continue to prosper in the future.”
Fruehauf’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
For more information on Fruehauf, visit FruehaufInc.com.
A detailed community profile for Warren County can be viewed here.
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