With a festive cornerstone laying ceremony, the Automotive Aftermarket division of Schaeffler heralded in the building phase of its new assembly and packaging centre, called Aftermarket Kitting Operation (AKO), in Halle (Saale), Germany.
Building the state-of-the-art logistics facility at the “Star Park” industrial estate is one of 20 initiatives of Schaeffler’s excellence program “Agenda 4 plus One”, which is conceived to transform the company according to its “Mobility for tomorrow” strategy. The Board of Managing Directors of Schaeffler AG, with approval from the Supervisory Board, signed off on a €180 million ($208.8 million) investment for this building project.
Representatives from Schaeffler, politicians and representatives of partner companies took part in the cornerstone laying ceremony for the new central logistics hub, which will cover a building area of 40,000 square meters. From here, automotive spare parts that Schaeffler sells as individual products and in the form of repair solutions, will be picked, packaged into kits and dispatched throughout Europe.
“Our new assembly and packaging centre is the largest single investment by the Automotive Aftermarket division of Schaeffler so far,” said Michael Söding, CEO Automotive Aftermarket, Schaeffler AG. “And it is a worthwhile investment. By laying this cornerstone, we are heralding in a new era for our logistics, to offer more flexibility, speed and delivery reliability to our customers. For this, we found an excellent business environment here in Halle (Saale), including an outstanding infrastructure and an optimal location for us strategically.”
Dr. Bernd Wiegand, Mayor of Halle (Saale), added: “The city of Halle (Saale) is proud that such an important company is building here at our Star Park industrial estate. The decision of the Schaeffler Group is further proof for how attractive this region, in the heart of the Metropolitan Region Central Germany really is. The city of Halle (Saale) offers Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket GmbH & Co. KG outstanding parameters and will support the company in the future as well with a central contact. I am sure that Schaeffler, and the roughly 900 planned new employees, will feel right at home here with us.”
Construction work on the new logistics facility, the building and facility equipment will take the next one and a half years. Responsible for this is the third-party logistics provider Neovia Logistics. The plan is for the facility to be in operation during the first quarter of 2020. Once the assembly and packaging center reaches planned operational capacity, it will employ up to 900 people. They will also be hired by Neovia Logistics.