Katy, TX – KOBELCO Construction Machinery USA recently celebrated the official groundbreaking of its new excavator production facility in North America. A special ceremony was held on the grounds of the facility’s future location in Spartanburg, SC. Attendees of the event included honored guests from KOBELCO Construction Machinery Co. Ltd. in Japan, KOBELCO Construction Machinery USA in Katy, TX, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the Spartanburg County Council and representatives from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.
The occasion kicked off with a procession of distinguished guest speakers who applauded KOBELCO’s decision to bring its manufacturing to the US and to the Palmetto State. A traditional Japanese gift exchange was made between KOBELCO officials and representatives from both South Carolina and Spartanburg County, symbolizing each party’s appreciation and acknowledgment for supporting one another. The ceremonial groundbreaking brought the event to a close; KOBELCO officials and special guests of the community wore KOBELCO-branded, American flag designed hard hats while digging the first shovel of dirt for the new facility together.
“It’s been a true privilege to work with the people of KOBELCO,” noted Mr. Anthony Allen, Senior Project Manager of the South Carolina Department of Commerce. “Deciding where to locate a new manufacturing facility is a monumental task. The KOBELCO team was thoroughly professional and was a pleasure to work with throughout the entire process. Japanese companies are world-renowned for the highest quality and precision products. We now have one more Japanese-based company in South Carolina – we’re very proud and very happy about that.”
KOBELCO chose the Spartanburg location from nearly 50 candidate sites across eight states for the property’s vast amount of land and nearby access to major domestic ports. Sitting on approximately 85 acres, KOBELCO’s $41 million investment involves the development of a 156,000 square foot production plant, 17,000 square foot office building and areas for both machinery parking and testing. The property also provides KOBELCO with plenty of space for future production capacity expansion. With site preparation for the facility underway, construction is expected to be complete in December 2015 and mass production of 1,800 units/year will begin in January 2016.
“Our US facility will follow the same concept as our Itsukaichi facility in Japan – which is the most modern, energetic, and high quality excavator factory in the world,” said Pete Morita, President and CEO of KOBELCO Construction Machinery USA. “The US facility will not only reduce the production lead-time of machinery and improve our capabilities for meeting market needs, but it will also allow for the transformation of KOBELCO USA into a company with integrated production and sales – all on US soil. This is our commitment to the market. This is further proof that KOBELCO is a reliable company and we will continue to provide quality products to our customers through our new plant by following the philosophy of ‘Made in America’”
The development of KOBELCO’s US based manufacturing facility allows the company to proudly support the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). KOBELCO will be participating in the AEM I Make America campaign by creating over 130 new jobs for the skilled workforce living in the communities that surround the Spartanburg area. "KOBELCO's new facility in South Carolina demonstrates what our I Make America campaign is all about: growing the equipment manufacturing industry and supporting good-paying jobs across the United States,” said Dennis Slater, President of AEM upon the occasion of the groundbreaking event. “This new plant represents growth for KOBELCO and their commitment to the economy of Spartanburg. KOBELCO helps 'make America' every day."
By taking full advantage of its production facility in Spartanburg, KOBELCO will further enhance its service functions, reinforce its foundation in the North American market, continue increasing the presence of KOBELCO hydraulic excavators, and put a group-wide effort into growing its market share in North America. KOBELCO plans to begin its production with standard machines weighing 20-tons and larger; the company will increase its product line offerings and capacity in accordance with market development. Future production plans at the US facility are expected to include most of KOBELCO’s excavator models.
“We are very excited to begin a new phase of our growth in North America,” stated Morita. “With an eye on the future, KOBELCO is staying ahead of the competition and anticipating what the industry will need tomorrow. We look forward to becoming an integral part of the Spartanburg community and sharing our success and prosperity.”
A letter addressed to KOBELCO from Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina was read aloud at KOBELCO’s celebratory event. “[In South Carolina], we believe strongly in fostering growth among our businesses, particularly as it relates to manufacturing. We are known as a leader in the industry and companies like KOBELCO are putting South Carolina on the map worldwide as the home for future innovation in America. We appreciate [KOBELCO’s] decision to locate here and assure them that their confidence in us is not misplaced.”
KOBELCO Construction Machinery USA offers industry-leading crawler excavators in the 3,000 lb. to 245,000 lb. classes including zero tail swing, compact, standard, long-reach, mass excavation, and demolition models. Well-known as the excavator authority, KOBELCO is committed to producing quality machines with advanced productivity-boosting features and innovative technologies. With premier capabilities such as no time limit power boost and exclusive independent travel, KOBELCO machines ensure superior performance and efficiency for the toughest worksite challenges.
Construction and transportation machinery manufacturer investing $41 million to create an expected 131 new jobs
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd., a company that specializes in the manufacture, sale and service of construction and transport machinery, is establishing operations in Spartanburg County. The $41 million investment is expected to generate 131 new jobs in Moore, S.C.
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Japan, Kobelco Construction Machinery is one of nine business domains of the Kobe Steel Group. Globally, the group, which was first established in 1905, employs close to 40,000 workers worldwide. Included among the main products and services provided by the Kobelco Construction Machinery are hydraulic excavators, mini excavators, wheel loaders and road construction equipment.
Kobelco’s Spartanburg County operations will specialize in the manufacturing of hydraulic excavators. Located off of the Moore-Duncan Highway in Moore, S.C, the approximately 156,000-square-foot production facility and stand-alone office building will be positioned in close proximity to both I-26 and I-85. The facility will allow Kobelco to reduce the production lead time of machineries for its North American customers and improve capability for meeting market needs. The new factory will be incorporated into the company’s North American subsidiary, Kobelco Construction Machinery U.S.A. Inc., which is headquartered in Katy, Texas.
Kobelco Construction Machinery reentered the U.S. market in 2013. Since that time, the firm has concluded dealer agreements with 62 companies, 52 of which are based in North America. Until now, the entire sales volume has been shipped from the company’s Hiroshima Itsukaichi factory in Japan. The establishment of this Spartanburg County facility will reduce operational burden on Hiroshima plant while also allowing for the creation of an optimal group-wide production system.
Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in December 2015. Hiring for most of the new positions is anticipated to take place in July 2015. Interested candidates should contact Norma Sanchez, Human Resource Manager of Kobelco Construction Machinery U.S.A., Inc., atSCFactoryEmployment@kobelconet.com. For more information on Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. please visit www.kobelco-kenki.co.jp and for Kobelco Construction Machinery U.S.A., Inc. please visit www.kobelco-usa.com.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $750,000 set aside grant to assist with the costs of real property improvements as well as job development credits related to the project.
“We are very excited to begin the new phase of our growth in South Carolina. We look forward to becoming an integral part of the Spartanburg community, and sharing in our future success and prosperity. Many thanks to the team of Spartanburg County and the State of South Carolina, whose support throughout our site selection process has been an example of professionalism and Southern Hospitality.” –Kobelco Construction Machinery U.S.A., Inc. President and CEO Katsuhiko “Pete” Morita
“We’re thrilled to welcome Kobelco Construction Machinery to the South Carolina family. The company’s decision to invest $41 million and create 131 new jobs in Spartanburg County is great news for our state and a testament to our tremendous workforce, positive business environment and strong manufacturing industry.” –Gov. Nikki Haley
“It’s always encouraging when foreign-based firms conclude that South Carolina is where they would like to do business. Kobelco Construction Machinery’s decision to establish operations in Spartanburg County proves that the business-friendly environment we offer in the Palmetto State has gained an international reputation, and I look forward to supporting Kobelco as we strive to uphold that distinction.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
“On behalf of the SC Ports Authority, I welcome Kobelco to South Carolina. The growth of international companies that utilize the Port for both import of manufacturing process components and export of finished goods are important drivers of our continued growth. We look forward to the opportunity to serve their needs through our Charleston facilities.” –SC Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome
“We are thrilled Kobelco has chosen Spartanburg County for its only North American production facility and we welcome yet another global name brand to our community. Spartanburg is the home to numerous international firms and our citizens and small business owners have benefited from the opportunities these high-tech firms create. As is always the case in Spartanburg, our private and public sector allies were integral in locating Kobelco in Spartanburg. Spartanburg’s own Pacolet Milliken, AFL Global, Neff Rental, and Spartanburg Community College all aided in making this announcement possible and we thank them for their continued support of our economic development efforts. The international recruitment efforts supported by the Economic Futures Group, Upstate SC Alliance, and the SC Department of Commerce are clearly paying dividends.” –David Britt, chairman of the Economic Recruitment and Development Committee of Spartanburg County and member of the Economic Futures Group Board
We are excited to welcome Kobelco Construction Machinery to the Upstate of South Carolina. Their investment is a strong testament to the thriving international business climate that exists in our region and to the dedication of the economic development team in South Carolina.” –Upstate SC Alliance President and CEO John Lummus
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