Mankiewicz Coatings to expand US operations with $25 million investment
In 2010, Daniel Island resident Peter Dietz stood with a small group of his employees and community members in a 25,000 square foot facility on Jessen Lane off Clements Ferry Road to celebrate the opening of the new Mankiewicz Coatings U.S. manufacturing site. For Dietz, managing director of the German-based company’s U.S. operations, it was an exciting moment.
A mere five years later, after experiencing continued growth and success, Mankiewicz staff members, along with city, county and state officials, convened to celebrate an even bigger milestone. At a groundbreaking ceremony held on November 9, Dietz announced that the company would be expanding to a 90,000 square foot facility, nearly quadrupling its current size, on nearby Charleston Regional Parkway.
“When I came over about 10 years ago, I met a very small U.S. team here,” said Dietz, while addressing the crowd in the facility’s first completed new building on its 10 acre campus. “It was a small team, but they had one thing in common – very entrepreneurial thinking, outside the box. Everybody had that spark in their eye of ‘I want to get things done.’ They went away from the safety of a big company to join a little pioneer company…Our first facility was as big as this meeting room…. I’m very happy that we were able to grow this spirit into a much larger scale.”
The expansion will also bring 15 new jobs to the facility. Mankiewicz makes products for a variety of industries, including automotive, aviation, rail, medical technology, utility vehicles, yachts, and wind power. The new site represents a $25 million investment and will include a research and development lab, state-of-the-art manufacturing, an application and technology center for training and simulation, and a semi-automated logistical center.
Dietz said the well-organized Port of Charleston, as well as strong partnerships with BMW, Boeing and other large customers, helped make their expansion possible. They also hope to work with Volvo when the company sets up shop in the Lowcountry in 2018.
“Business attracts business,” he added. “So the infrastructure and the business-friendly environment here was basically what convinced the management of Mankiewicz to come to Charleston.”
Also on hand for the groundbreaking festivities last week were South Carolina Deputy Secretary of Commerce Jennifer Noel, Berkeley County Supervisor Bill Peagler, City of Charleston Mayor Pro Tem Keith Waring, and City Councilman for District 1 Gary White.
“This tremendous celebration is another great win for Team South Carolina and manufacturing in the state,” said Noel, who presented Dietz with a South Carolina flag to commemorate the occasion. “…Make no mistake, this latest $25 million investment that the company made could have gone anywhere. But they have found a tremendous business climate that has been created here in Berkeley County and we are here today to celebrate that, to celebrate all of you who are working with the company in making that possible.”
During his time at the podium, Peagler called Berkeley County “one of the hottest counties in the state” in terms of economic development and thanked Mankiewicz for setting down roots here.
“Not only is Berkeley County honored to have Mankiewicz Coatings call Berkeley County home, but we are extremely grateful for the investment of both resources and people that Mankiewicz is making with this expansion,” he said. “…Today’s groundbreaking is a testament to the hard work and vision of Mr. Dietz and his incredible team of employees.”
“This is a wonderful expansion,” added White. “…As of the last two or three years, we’re seeing more growth and development in the tri-county region than I think this community has ever seen. It’s exploding. It’s an exciting time to be here. The next part we have to do is build the infrastructure to continue to support that. And I can assure you those of us at the city, the county, and the state level will continue to do so.”
Also addressing the crowd was Mankiewicz Coatings Chief Financial Officer Michael Elder, who is based at the company’s corporate headquarters in Hamburg, Germany. Elder made note of the rainy weather on the day of the event, referencing a story about the Nordic God “Rasmus.”
“He is responsible for weather conditions,” Elder said. “…He has sent the rain, which says we will never fall dry. Let’s take it in monetary terms!...This is a big step forward in the development of our company…May the new building become a stable one and may it build the basis for the next 10 years of growth for the company.”
The new Mankiewicz campus is expected to be completed in July of 2016.