KW Automotive USA-Plant Tour
by Mike Kojima
If you have been a long time MotoIQ reader, then you have probably read about our tour of performance suspension giant KW Automotive's production and R&D facilities in Germany. KW has had a North American operation for some years now, but has recently expanded their facilities from their first location in Sanger, California to a new location in Clovis, California.
KW's old Sanger facility was mostly dedicated to warehousing and service of their suspension stuff. The new location is being put together to have additional flooring space for R&D, engineering and Manufacturing. This includes all of the KW Automotive brands consisting of ST Suspensions, Belltech, LSD Doors and of course, KW Suspension.
In a time where our industry for years has been cheaping out and sending production of parts overseas to Asia, it has been exciting for us to see an importer of parts invest in our country and gradually start to move engineering, service and production capability into a stateside facility.
Come join us for a walk around KW Automotive's new building!
What can we say, KW Automotive has a really nice lobby made nicer due to the fact that it was air conditioned on this 105 degree day in beautiful Clovis, California! The lobby has displays of most of KW's products. KW's building is 85,000 square feet and KW Automotive North America currently employs 50 people.
The first place we visited inside KW's massive headquarters building was our favorite place- the racing department lab. Here, KW Motorsports shocks are serviced and sometimes built to order, although the bulk of Motorsports production is done in Germany. Customer rebuilds and re-valving are also done here. Here is the shock dyno that verifies the correct operation of a shock and plots out the damping force over velocity.
Some KW street dampers are built to order here as well. The lab, like all of KW's facilities, is well organized and so clean you could eat off the floor.
Here, a KW Clubsport is being torn down to be rebuilt for a customer. KW's have a lifetime guarantee so they are completely rebuildable and serviceable. KW chief engineer Klaus Frank is in the background with his trademark yellow glasses.