Invest Region Leipzig GmbH

Flexfab LLC

Daniel Schwemmer, Sales Manager

"Invest Region Leipzig's professional demeanour reinforced our decision. The service is free of charge, the working method is very structured and you immediately realise that Invest Region Leipzig is not doing this for the first time. Everything has a solid foundation."

Flexfab founded a branch in Leipzig in 2021. The American family business employs over 1000 people worldwide. Its main area of business is the production of high-tech products for the aerospace, automotive, rail and heavy goods vehicle industries. The company generates a turnover of around 150 million dollars per year.

Flexfab is an established company that was founded in 1961 by Douglas C. DeCamp and Bill Pierce in Hastings (Michigan, USA). The company mainly manufactures and supplies parts in the form of silicone hoses and lines. One of the company's most important and longest-standing customers is the aircraft manufacturer Boeing. Here, Flexfab parts are used in air ducts for air conditioning systems or in hoses for cooling and heating water. Other customers include lorry manufacturers, but also the food industry, e.g. in the form of parts for milking machines. The production facilities are mainly located in Asia, while sales are organised worldwide and run via China, Brazil, England, America and Germany.

The idea to move to Leipzig came after looking at several locations in Belgium and the Netherlands, for example. "Leipzig is the perfect location here in Europe," explains Sales Manager Daniel Schwemmer. "We are a company that sources materials for Europe from Asia, so we need to be flexible. Leipzig is very well connected and the fact that Porsche and BMW are already here naturally played a role. We know from the automotive sector that a certain logistics infrastructure is already in place. That was a perfect fit," he says.

This was followed by a location enquiry to Invest Region Leipzig GmbH (IRL), which highlighted the attractiveness and advantages of the region with several detailed presentations. Daniel Schwemmer came to Leipzig for the first time in the first week of June 2021. "IRL's professional demeanour reinforced our decision. The service is free of charge, the working method is very structured and you immediately realise that IRL is not doing this for the first time. Everything is well organised," he recalls. The IRL organised the visits to interesting properties. "We travelled right across Leipzig's logistics landscape. That showed us how close everything is to each other. The major processors all have their hubs here, as well as the airport and Deutsche Bahn's Rail Container Port. This combination of extremely good logistics infrastructure and extremely competitive wages and rents made it perfect," enthuses Daniel Schwemmer. It was also perfect that the right property to grow at the site was found straight away.

The decision had to be made quickly, as there was another interested party. After signing the contract and with the support of IRL's skilled labour service, the first employee was hired at the site within two weeks. There was a delay because a limited company had to be founded first. The prompt realisation was a major effort, but also came with a major competitive advantage, as Flexfab is planning to relocate its site from England to Leipzig. "Due to BREXIT, we wanted to leave England, as this is now causing problems. It starts with high customs costs and continues with difficulties in administration, delays at the border, lack of lorry drivers, etc., which is extremely difficult. The location in Leipzig will make things much easier for us and also for our customers," explains Daniel Schwemmer. The plan for the future is to expand the new Flexfab branch in Leipzig as a long-term business location.