Batterien-Montag-Zentrum GmbH (BMZ) will open its U.S. headquarters in Virginia Beach. The company, based in Karlstein, Germany, is Europe’s leading supplier for rechargeable battery packs. BMZ also has manufacturing facilities in China, Poland and Germany.
The new U.S. facility will handle North American sales, assembly, distribution and research and development of primarily lithium ion battery units for a variety of industry sectors. The batteries are used in power tools, medical devices, defense, wind and solar energy, household items, industrial scanners, mobile data entry devices and aerospace.
BMZ will import lithium ion battery cells from its manufacturing facilities in Asia and partner with local companies to manufacture plastic housings and wiring components. BMZ USA will assemble and distribute finished units to North American customers.
“We know BMZ officials looked at several other cities before they made the decision to open their headquarters in Virginia Beach,” says Warren D. Harris, Director of Virginia Beach Economic Development. “This is one of our target industries, and the introduction to BMZ was made through STIHL, one of the city’s largest manufacturers.”
“After carefully researching several states on the East Coast, we decided to locate BMZ USA in Virginia”, says Sven Bauer, Managing Director of BMZ GmbH. “Virginia Beach was especially attractive because of its large community of international companies, some of which we already have business relationships with. The proximity to the international port, infrastructure, abundance of qualified personnel and the assistance from the Economic Development office helped us finalize our decision.”
Virginia Beach Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. and Harris were introduced to BMZ GmbH during their June 2010 visit to the German headquarters of STIHL, as that company had recently selected BMZ as a new partner for their entry into manufacturing more environmentally sustainable battery powered tools. STIHL officials also introduced Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell to the company during his subsequent visit to Germany. The Virginia Beach Economic Development Department and Hampton Roads Economic
Development Alliance met with BMZ during a follow up visit to their headquarters in Karlstein, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s European office provided additional support to the company during their decision making process.
BMZ USA will lease 16,500 square feet of light industrial space at 2656 Lishelle Place, which was acquired by the city as part of its APZ-1 program to attract more conforming commercial uses in close proximity to Oceana Naval Air Station. BMZ USA is expected to make a capital investment of $500,000 in equipment, and will initially hire 15 employees in the areas of sales, research & development and assembly, with an average annual salary of $38,000; additional employees will be added soon after.
The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international business and industry that results in the creation of new capital investment and jobs that increase the per capita income in the community. The City of Virginia Beach is the most populous city in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a population of 434,000 and is the 42nd largest city in the United States. Virginia Beach has been recognized as having one of the 10 best economic development groups in the nation by Site Selection magazine. In 2006, Virginia Beach was named one of the 10 best big cities in America by Money magazine. In 2008, the Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council, one of only 25 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. In 2010, the Department won an Award of Excellence for its marketing efforts from the International Economic Development Council. For more information, visit www.yesvirginiabeach.com.