Auto parts maker moving American headquarters out of Wisconsin

Apparently auto parts maker Grammer AG didn’t get Gov. Scott Walker’s memo that Wisconsin is “open for business,” as that company announced it is moving its American headquarters from Wisconsin to Mississippi.

Grammer AG announced the move Wednesday in a ceremony with Gov. Phil Bryant near Tupelo. The company makes automotive interiors and commercial vehicle seats.

The company, based in Amberg, Germany, will invest $30 million over five years, with plans to open the first phase by the end of 2014.

Grammer will occupy a building constructed by the Community Development Foundation to attract industry, with plans to add to it in a second phase expansion. The Mississippi Development Authority will help pay to build out the plant, ship equipment to the site, train workers and help build the second phase. Lee County is also providing unspecified assistance.


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36 thoughts on “Auto parts maker moving American headquarters out of Wisconsin

  1. Thanks Zach.

    Republican Phil Bryant steals manufacturing jobs from Republican Scott Walker.

  2. Why are they moving?
    The same reasons Briggs & Straton and Harley Davidson have moved some production?

  3. Gosh it’s sure tough to compete in a race to the bottom with the southern states as they continually shift the definition of “bottom” and become a sort of Silicon Valley in reverse. This company’s decision is predicated on creating supply chain efficiency combined with tax deals and cheaper labor. President Obama was quoted recently as saying that he’d like children in Mississippi to have access to enough to eat, a good education and healthcare, not just children in Massachusetts. But what he’s up against is that Mississippians themselves believe their children do not need food, education, healthcare, clean air and water, etc. The question for Wisconsinites is do we also believe our kids should be condemned to a third world existence? Hopefully state Democrats articulate soon a cohesive economic platform of infrastructure and educational investment to attract and grow businesses creating skilled, well-paying jobs. Try as he might Walker will never get us to rock bottom – the competition is just too good – but in the meantime no Wisconsin family is safe from him.

    1. EmmaR,

      ” But what he’s up against is that Mississippians themselves believe their children do not need food, education, healthcare, clean air and water, etc. ”

      You didn’t really mean to say that, did you?

  4. Interesting claim, 2:59 pm Friday, FWIW.

    President Obama was quoted recently as saying that he’d like children in Mississippi to have access to enough to eat, a good education and healthcare, not just children in Massachusetts. But what he’s up against is that Mississippians themselves believe their children do not need food, education, healthcare, clean air and water, etc.

    Though, “he,” (Obomba) in this case is content, dare I say eager, to have low wage earning Mississippians as well as the low wage workers of Massachusetts, compete with third world countries in Southeast Asia, (TPP fast track authority) reiterated in his free trade plea in the SOTU, the claim made in the quote is ludicrous. So I am left wondering if the claim of being up against an attitude of the people of a southern state is the conclusion of the comment author or a claim attributed to Barry O someplace. Regardless, it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

    Also, failing to distinguish between Mississippi’s working class citizens and its political leadership in that comment is certainly another oversight and an unfair blanket condemnation in the judgement made, even if there had been no prior reference to Obomba.

    1. To me, President Obama has slowly but surely shifted the tone of the country away from austerity and towards economic inequality. I recognize the limitations of the office and I believe the person and office should be referred to with respect. I also think it’s perfectly fine to post a comment that essentially asks whether Wisconsin voters much like Mississippi will end up with the government they deserve. That I did not post a thorough treatise on the subject is irrelevant. I prefer not to look at our citizenry as victims. We make choices – to read or not, question or not, vote or not, listen to preachers or be guided by our own understanding, watch and allow campaign ads to influence us or ignore them all. For many years Wisconsin chose a different government and a different set of priorities.

      1. Offering beliefs and wishes and excuses for Barry as a response to the facts about the free trade issue that I raised, why? (rhetorical) Is there a reason for ignoring my one simple question @ 2:56 am? (another rhetorical)

        The facts show also that, to state it precisely, Obomba has FAILED to be turned by overwhelming public opinion against his presidency to date, again contrary to your individual belief. Threatening reporters with criminal terrorist statutes, spying on Americans, chaining the CPI, bailout of the TBTF banks, gutting EPA regulations, record #s of prosecutions of whistle-blower to conceal illegal actions of our government, refusing to remove marijuana’s substance classification while proclaiming he is for legalization, his big election lie of single payer, term one, taxpayer giveaway to health insurance cartels, the ACA, and of course free trade policy, on and on I could go.

        Certainly you are free to post whatever you wish within the site rules, though a few clarifications don’t automatically add up to a treatise. I hope you are not insinuating that myself or others here view citizens as victims. Your posturing in the last two sentences apply how, to anything in the thread? (rhetorical)

        1. I wonder how many fellow Democrats don’t participate on Blogging Blue because they weary of a blog where one must maintain a constant vigilance upon one’s comments? Aren’t blogs supposed to be casual outlets to learn and share – take or leave what others post but never get too worked up about it? Why bother going after comments you disagree with as consistently as you do and in such an ill-natured manner anyway? PJ has called you on it often but to no effect except to prompt Zach to issue a warning post. People with interesting views seem to fold after a post or two never to return and who can blame them? I don’t answer to you Nonquixote nor any bully. And he is President Obama:

          1. OT response to an OT comment:

            What a perfectly splendid Republican point of view. Claim to want to learn and share but at the same time reject alternative thoughts or facts, not wanting to, or as you state, one shouldn’t need to be troubled to have to defend or civilly argue the issue or topic you or someone else has made.

            Gee, 24 hour notice for high-capacity well hearings, gubernatorial, “public,” appearances in locked private venues with only pre-screened friendly audience participants. Which political party has been doing that for 3 years now, limiting discussion and giving preferential treatment to party line loyalists or corporate donors?

            And finally, when however even remotely or successfully challenged, ad hominem attacks against the commenter. Disagreeing or pointing to an alternative idea becomes “getting worked up about it,” in “such an ill-tempered manner,” or just insinuate, “bully,” or simply bad mouth someone’s deceased parents. Now that tops any political argument ever made, doesn’t it? Republican positioning as clear as recall blacklisting, I’d say. I disagree with your assessment of why BB participation may be down and I just explained why, if that is true, it is not for the reasons you postulate.

            Notice please, not one personal attack against you in evaluating your comment. I also read the Atlantic link, here’s a link that leads seven sequential posts factually flattening the musings of your single linked author. Learn and share as you claim.

            1. I enjoy BB and cog dis. I see collective bargaining as the only hedge against the 1% and I appreciate both blogs supporting it. Over the years I’ve read a lot of good stuff at Uppity, but just don’t have time to get out there.

              I especially enjoy commenters who support their arguments with evidence/links.

              The “casual” argument works both ways. If blogs are “casual,” than folks don’t have to show the respect for someone’s “office,” that’s more accepted in polite discourse. I understand why Zach demands it, it’s a sensible place to “draw a line.”

              IMHO, blogs will continue to play an important role, but most of the “conversation,” has shifted to Twitter and FB. Unlike the blogs, where anyone can hide behind multiple handles, Twitter and FB allow users to learn how people they already know and trust view an unfolding story. If I were involved in a political campaign, I’d invest the bulk of my online resources in social media. Full disclosure, no one pays me for political advice.

              IMHO, right and left agree have agreed for years about the need for criminal prosecution of Wall Street, pot, and bringing troops home from foreign occupations. The fact that so little progress has been made on any of the three issues supports the view that the 1% keep the 99% at each other’s throats by sophisticated manipulation of the media. Among other issues, guns and Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi are used to vilify and separate the 99%.

              “I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half.”


              We have an economy based on the 1% owning overlapping oligarchies (Wall Street, Big Oil, Big Data, Big Pharma, Big Ag, Military Industrial Complex/National Security Complex,…) which control the government regulatory authorities that oversee the welfare paid to them via government contracts. That includes what used to be the engine of U.S. meritocracy, the Patent Office.

              The fact that Comcast owns MSNBC means it’s not reliable w/r/t critical issue such as “net neutrality,” which could have very adverse impacts on blogs. AFAIK, Twitter/FB are better insulated from that threat. The fact that MSNBC has been so good on Gov. Christie, may signal that the Dems have flexed what little media muscle they have left. FWIW, I almost never use FB. If the recent Son of Doe ruling “Appeals court allows secret probe into recall elections to proceed
              Attorney General Van Hollen declined the case” goes to the State Supreme Court, as expected, we’ll need MSNBC, the New York Times…. to similarly shed a light on the theft of the Court, by Mike Grebe, Koch’s GOP…..

  5. Struggling to find clarity, again with the comment @ 2:59 pm Friday, FWIW.

    The question for Wisconsinites is do we also believe our kids should be condemned to a third world existence? Hopefully state Democrats articulate soon a cohesive economic platform of infrastructure and educational investment to attract and grow businesses creating skilled, well-paying jobs.

    Apparently due to some smartphone limitations, it is unclear whether or not this question is supposed to be related to the rest of the comment or a separate thought/idea. Also failing to make some distinctions to clarify which “state Democrats,” are being referred to, thereby creating a comment that makes any sense at all, one would have hoped to see some distinctions between party leadership, legislators, party-line no matter what, voters, and democratically leaning voters rather than the blanket referral .

    Hoping for the DPW leadership to exhibit any independence from national D ties isn’t going to happen. With the Burke campaign advisory makeup and strategy thus far revealed, I don’t yet see the needed plan for actually wanting to win, coming from there either. On the other hand, several sitting state “D legislators have been resolutely outspoken in correctly stating needed policy changes to oppose Walker regime actions, as have several left leaning blogs and commentators. So distinctions count when discussing these political matters.

    Relating my comment to the OP, Walker has shown us where we end up in running government strictly as a business, so no thanks to any more of that. And is losing jobs to Mississippi somehow different than setting them up directly in China, oh wait, what reminded me of that? Already seen enough of the hope-a-dope for one life time.

    No War but Class War.

    1. I suppose their very fear of a phrase “no war but class war” prevents a unified platform.

      1. You are free to post an intelligent response. Contrived suppositions to ignore and/or discredit valid points made is obvious and appears to be deliberately insulting. Nothing funny about it.

  6. Agree that POTUS has shifted his rhetoric toward income inequality. The problem is that his DOJ still hasn’t indicted any Wall Street CEO for crashing the economy in 2008.

    IMHO, if the shift were anything more than rhetoric, those criminal prosecutions would be the first sign.

    If it’s empty, reasonable people can disagree about how much damage the rhetoric does over time to American’s faith in government.

    1. You make a good point, John, but I think that’s all down to Citizens United. Wall Street won’t face prosecution, improved regulatory oversight, nor appropriate levels of taxation so long as their campaign cash is needed. What a country we could be if money was unimportant to elections and re-districting rules were changed.

      1. Emma, thanks.

        Only two ways I know of to overturn Citizens United. (1) The easiest and least expensive way is for the Supreme Court to reverse its decision. I’m not optimistic. Seeing the carnage they’ve created, see Chris (Dead Man Waddling) Christie, they might try to amend the decision, which would do less to restrict the 1%’s control of government.

        (2) Congress passes real reform and the President signs it. I don’t see that happening. They will pass something, akin to Dodd-Frank, which claimed to rein-in Wall Street, but didn’t.

        Even if I’m wrong, if something did pass, that had real teeth in it, you’ve still got a good portion of the federal judiciary from whom Presidents could pick corporate “friendlies” like Alito and Roberts…..

        An idea (of which there are many different iterations) I liked was restricting each registered voter to a couple bucks per year. You couldn’t donate to a candidate if you weren’t a registered voter. You didn’t have to donate, but if you did, it was public record. Any federal or state matching funds would be pro-rated on how much you had raised from registered voters. Lots of moving parts, and I’m not sure this would work, but the fundamental thrust is an attempt to put the 99% back in control of the process.

        Another thing we have to do is make the Presidential election based on the popular vote. Fair vote has a lot of good ideas on how we can reform the process.

        1. I like your idea especially if the idea of corporate personhood was walked back so only people could donate. But I’m sad that removing limits is what is actually under discussion. Lots of links for you from here to current news on campaign spending and articles specific to this case:

          1. Emma, thanks.

            Part of the problem with public financing, which I generally support, is that imho it enables both parties to cooperate and conspire to keep third party candidates (and ballot initiatives) off of ballots. Within each party, imho running in a primary against an incumbent is usually considered grounds for ex-communication from the party. Wingnut radio has done a lot to force the GOP to the right, and that has pulled the entire Democratic party far to the right of where Eisenhower used to be.

            These are complex legal issues, and I am in no way an expert.

            1. But it is how Progressives have got back on the ballot in some New York City Council and School Board races for example. At least one of the links discusses the angle that some mainstream Dem’s are embracing the lack of rules to raise large sums. BTW, I think this is the bill you’re referring to: 43 “D” co-sponsors so it sits in committee.

  7. Hmmm…getting back to Grammer for just an instant…this link from someone from the right side of the aisle was posted on BB’s FB page:

    Now this article points out that Grammer is moving their US HQ from Hudson to Mississippi and that there will be new jobs in MS to supply the Mercedes Benz factory in Alabama and other car manufacturers in the south. Makes a bit of sense that a German supplier would locate near a German customer and that Brammer would want to locate nearer any of their customers.

    The article also mentions that a decision has not been made on moving the manufacturing jobs out of Hudson…and they may not do that since they make specialty seating there for John Deere and other customers who are located in the midwest. The advantage of lower wages, taxes or looser pollution laws in MS might be outweighed by increased shipping costs and delays in delivery when comparing say Hudson WI to Horicon WI vs. Shannon MS to Horicon…

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