In 1957, International Business Machines (IBM) set up operations in Dublin, Ireland. A year later another massive multinational landed in Ireland but this time it set up in the unlikely location of County Kerry.
In 1959, Hans Liebherr brought his international company to Kerry making Liebherr Kerry its first manufacturing plant outside of Germany. The plant has manufactured container cranes for global markets from the Killarney location for almost 60 years.
Once Liebherr opened the manufacturing door to the Emerald Isle, some other prominent names followed. The synthetic diamond manufacturer Element Six (part of the De Beers Group) established operations here in 1962. The Swiss industrial engineering firm Sulzer arrived in 1972. The Minnesotan company ThermoKing, who manufacture transport temperature control systems, has been operating in Ireland since 1976. Such has been the growth in the sector that Engineering companies now employ over 18,500 people directly.
According to the IDA’s website -
“The Engineering sector in Ireland is thriving with over 180 overseas companies generating €4.2 billion in exports annually across areas such as Industrial Products and Services, Aerospace, Automotive and Clean Tech.”
What Ireland lacks in natural resources it more than makes up for in human capital.
Ireland has the youngest population in Europe with 50% of its people under the age of 34. In addition to the enthusiasm of youth, the workforce is highly educated. There is a 98% participation rate in the education system, which ranks Ireland at 6th best in the world.
But it’s not all about the Irish people. 15% of workers in Ireland are enjoying an overseas experience, hailing from countries all over the globe. And it looks like that trend will continue as Ireland has the fastest growing Tech worker population in Europe.
Hardly surprising then so many companies have chosen Ireland for expanding overseas.
All roads don’t lead to Dublin
When companies are considering expanding in to Ireland, Dublin, the capital city, may be the first location to be considered. However, it’s refreshing to see companies like BorgWarner go beyond the big city thinking and set up in more regional locations.
County Kerry is in the beautiful and rugged south west of Ireland. It is now home to a diverse list of major international companies like the German crane manufacturer Liebherr, Irish financial payment solutions company Fexco, the world’s fourth-largest wind turbine manufacturer Enercon and Astellas Pharma, which is one of the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies.
BorgWarner recently announced further commitment to the Kerry region and a commitment to clean up the automotive impact on the environment.
- Company – BorgWarner
- Location – Tralee, County Kerry
- Announcement – “BorgWarner Adds New Production Line for Electric Vehicle Technology and Creates New Jobs at Tralee Facility”
BorgWarner can trace its corporate lineage back to the 1880s. Through mergers and acquisitions the company we know today was officially formed in 1928.
The company was best known as the supplier of overdrive units for cars from the 1930s to the 1970s and as the developer of Studebaker's three-speed automatic transmission, introduced in 1950.
Today, it has more in common with Elon Musk and the Tesla. They have manufacturing and technical facilities in 17 countries employing approximately 27,000 worldwide.
With a track record in early adoption, BorgWarner have been making automotive vehicles more fuel efficient using cleaner technologies as cars transform from mechanical to electric systems.
BorgWarner landed in Kerry in the mid 1980s as Ireland was mired in a deep recession. It’s a testament to the contribution of their employees, that BorgWarner has not only stayed in Ireland for over 30 years but is now looking to expand its operations. By expanding its manufacturing and test capabilities, BorgWarner will require more office and warehouse space, and up to 50 extra employees.
CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan commented at the time of the announcement
“In Tralee, BorgWarner continues to provide high-value employment opportunities in this regional location and has done so for over 30 years. The contribution the company makes to the local economy is highly significant. This investment marks an important milestone in our long-standing and mutually beneficial partnership.”
What (or where) else has Ireland got to offer?
If your business has been considering an expansion and would like to know more about Ireland, please get in touch with us. There are so many great locations in Ireland outside of the capital.
Smart MBS have over 30 years’ experience in dealing with small to medium sized companies from all industries.
If you want to get in touch with us, we’ll provide more detail about how about how Ireland and Smart MBS can partner with your company.