Höchst Aktiengesellschaft, a German chemical company from Frankfurt am Main, was established 1951. In 1965 Hoechst came to Spartanburg in a joint venture with American Hercules company. The venture was created to provide polyester fiber for local textile producers. Soon Hoechst acquired the entire operation. By the early 1970s the factory, with its two thousand workers, had become one of the area’s biggest employers. Additionally, the presence of this German company with its German and American staff had turned into an international curiosity.
The company chose to come to Spartanburg County because of its location. According to the calculations of one Hoechst executive, roughly eighty percent of U.S. textile mills were within a 250-mile radius of Spartanburg. Over the years, Hoechst’s Spartanburg factory expanded and improved its polyester-based manufacturing line to include large-scale plastic recycling operations and polyester resin production. In 1987, as a result of Hoechst’s acquisition of Celanese Corporation, the corporation’s North American operations were renamed Hoechst Celanese Corporation. In 1998 Hoechst sold the Spartanburg plant to a U.S.-Mexican joint venture named KoSa.
“European Business People Like Carolina—And It’s Mutual.” U.S. News and World Report 72 (June 26, 1972): 62–63.
Vogl, Frank. “The Spartanburg Example: How an Old Southern Town Became ‘Euroville.’” Europe: Magazine of the European Community 213 (May–June 1979): 26–29.