Japanese-owned automotive supplier to add 100 jobs, invest additional $66 million
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (May 15, 2013) – Gov. Steve Beshear today joined company and local officials at Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products LLC (KAAP) in Bowling Green to break ground on the company’s second expansion in recent months. Kobe Aluminum plans to add an 87,000-s.f. building, resulting in 100 new, full-time jobs and a capital investment of up to $66 million.
The news comes on the heels of another expansion announcement at the plant. In November 2012, company officials announced Kobe Aluminum would invest $11 million in Bowling Green for the construction of a new 39,000-s.f. building on One Kobe Way in Bowling Green, creating 15 new, full-time jobs.
Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products LLC, a joint venture of Kobe Steel Ltd., Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Toyota Tsusho Corp., has been a corporate citizen in south central Kentucky since 2005. The plant currently has more than 270 full-time employees and has invested more than $100 million in its Bowling Green facility since opening its doors.
There are 11 Kobe Steel subsidiaries in the United States, but the Bowling Green location is the only U.S. facility to forge aluminum suspension products for the automotive industry. The new, 87,000-s.f. addition makes room for new furnaces, casting machines, forging presses and advanced presses used to meet increasing demand for high-quality precision aluminum components for the automobile industry.
“Kobe Steel had many options when we decided to establish this business in Bowling Green,” said Susumu (Sam) Koike, KAAP president and CEO. “We have had great experiences working in Kentucky, and we have never regretted our decision. The commonwealth made the decision for additional investment easy by offering financial incentives. I assure you, we do not take these incentives for granted and will do our best to fulfill our employment obligations to make this incentive program both a business success for KAAP and an economic success for Kentucky.”
The Kobe Steel Group, a global enterprise built around Kobe Steel Ltd., founded in 1905, is engaged in business in a wide range of fields, with its major businesses concentrated on materials and machinery. The material businesses are comprised of iron and steel, welding, and aluminum and copper products, while machinery includes industrial and construction machinery, as well as natural resources and engineering and environmental solutions. Other important businesses are wholesale power supply and real estate. Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Toyota Tsusho Corp. are among the biggest Japanese trading firms.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $300,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA), which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.
Kobe Aluminum previously received preliminary approval for its initial expansion project in the amount of $325,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program, which is expected to be increased at the time of final approval to reflect the increased job growth and investment. A separate KEIA approval in the amount of $144,000 was also previously granted.
For more information on Kobe Aluminum, visit www.kobeal.com.