FOUNTAIN INN, SC – When Germany’s Rheinmetall Group cut the ribbon on its brand-new Pierburg Inc. engine parts plant here a decade ago, the supplier set a goal for the facility to reach at least $80 million in sales by 2007. Sales of secondary air pumps, throttle bodies, water pumps and oil pumps amounted to a modest $3 million when the plant opened in 1996. But it was Rheinmetall’s first parts facility in the U.S., built to support new vehicle-assembly plants in the region for BMW AG and ...

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