Wisconsin Manufacturing News

Milwaukee is finalist to be Spanish company’s North American headquarters; Feds order more military vehicles from Oshkosh Corp.

Milwaukee is finalist to be Spanish company’s North American headquarters

Milwaukee is one of two cities to be finalists in a Spanish company’s quest to locate its new North American headquarters.

Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce Richard Leinenkugel reported on the phone from Bilbao, Spain, at the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) all-member meeting held last week that he had just concluded a "12-hour cage match" presentation to a Spanish company.

Leinenkugel is courting the Spanish firm with a southeastern Wisconsin delegation that includes officials from the Milwaukee 7, We Energies and Richard "Rocky" Marcoux, commissioner of the Milwaukee Department of City Development.

Sources declined to identify the Spanish company that is being courted by Milwaukee.

Milwaukee is "at the finish line" of landing the company’s North American headquarters that would bring hundreds of jobs to southeastern Wisconsin and could also generate more work for vendors in the region, sources said.

"It’s between us and one other city," said one source close to the negotiations.

Officials representing the Spanish company have been studying the business climate in southeastern Wisconsin for weeks, BizTimes has learned. The company sent representatives to the MMAC’s Future 50 program in September, and they toured several southeastern Wisconsin factories, including the GenMet metal fabrication plant in Mequon. The plant tours were designed to give the Spanish company some insight about the array of potential partners and vendors in the region, sources said.

When asked by MMAC chairman Gale Klappa, chief executive officer of Wisconsin Energy Corp., about why the Spanish company is interested in Milwaukee, Leinenkugel said the company was impressed by southeastern Wisconsin’s workforce, the company wants to be close to its North American market and the company’s customers are in the region.

Sources said they expect the Spanish company to make a decision on the site for the North American headquarters by the end of the year.

Feds order more military vehicles from Oshkosh Corp.

Oshkosh Corp. has received an additional $438 million award from the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command Life Cycle Management Command (TACOM LCMC) to manufacture 1,000 MRAP All Terrain Vehicles (M-ATV).

This is the fifth award Oshkosh has received to supply M-ATVs and brings the total number of vehicles Oshkosh will deliver to 6,219. The aggregate amount of the five awards is valued at more than $3.2 billion.

"The most significant way we can show support for our Armed Forces is high rate, quality production of these important vehicles that provide the mobility and survivability necessary for the harsh Afghanistan terrain," said Robert Bohn, Oshkosh Corp. chairman and chief executive officer. "Additionally, through our extensive network of aftermarket services, we are supporting the vehicles in-theater with parts supply and field service representative support."

Since receiving the initial award on June 30, 2009, Oshkosh has delivered ahead of its contracted, accelerated delivery schedule every month and will ramp production up to 1,000 vehicles per month in December.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates praised Oshkosh Corp.’s workers Thursday during a tour of the company’s plant.


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