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Diecasting mold component.
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Mike Lawrence for The (Henderson, Ky) Gleaner
Samples of Gibbs Die Castings’ automotive components. The Kentucky company is adding new capacity to supply parts for eight-speed transmissions and rear axles.

Gibbs Die Castings Starts Capacity Expansion

June 3, 2013
Projects for automotive transmissions, rear axles Diecasting cells, machining centers

Gibbs Die Casting has started an expansion project at its headquarters plant in Henderson, KY, anticipating increasing volumes of automotive production. As planned, the project has a value above $22.8 million, the company said, and involves new business for eight-speed transmission and rear axles. Up to 160 new jobs will follow the capacity expansion.

The company has eight aluminum and magnesium diecasting operations worldwide, and the Henderson plant already employs over 560. Other operations include machining, assembly and diemaking.

From left to right: Steve Church, president/CEO of Gibbs Die Casting, Bob Koch, chairman of Koch Enterprises, and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear during a press conference announcing Gibbs Die Casting’s $22.8-million expansion. / Photo by Mike Lawrence for The (Henderson, Ky) Gleaner

The expansion was announced at a ceremony involving Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and other state and local elected officials. “Gibbs Die Casting is a global company with facilities on four continents, which makes us even more proud it is based here in the Commonwealth,” the governor said.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved performance-based tax incentives up to $3 million to support the project, through its Kentucky Business Investment program.

Reportedly, Gibbs will install new diecasting cells as well as new machining operations at three different sites in the Henderson area.

Koch Enterprises chairman Bob Koch told local reporters that its subsidiary Gibbs Die Casting has new contracts from General Motors Corp. and ZF Group for aluminum transmission components. He related the new business to automakers’ plans to introduce multi-speed transmissions (eight-, nine, and 10-speed models) in order to improve vehicles’ fuel economy and handling and performance.