Monday, February 7, 2011

Governor Beshear Announces NHK of America Suspension Components

NASCO investing $20 million to construct second facility, create up to 108 new jobs

BOWLING GREEN, KY - Gov. Steve Beshear today joined community leaders and executives of NHK of America Suspension Components (NASCO) to announce the company will invest more than $20 million to construct a new 50,000 square-foot manufacturing plant at its current location in Bowling Green. As a result of the expansion, the Japanese automotive supplier will add up to 108 new jobs over the next several years to its existing workforce, which is currently just over 200 employees.

"Kentucky is proud to have a longstanding corporate citizen such as NASCO reaffirm its commitment to our state by making new investments and creating new jobs," said Gov. Beshear. "The Commonwealth has long been a hub for automotive manufacturers and suppliers and this expansion further strengthens our footprint in the automotive industry."

Established in Bowling Green in 1986, NASCO has become one of the world's largest manufacturing plants for suspension coil springs for passenger cars and light trucks. It is also a leading supplier of trunk lid torsion bars and stabilizer links for the North American automotive industry. The new facility, which is expected to be completed by October of this year, will manufacture motor armature parts for electric and hybrid vehicles.

"The new plant is a major investment in metal stamping technology and our Japanese parent company NHK Spring decided to locate it here in Bowling Green, Kentucky," said Fumiaki Kimura, president of NASCO and New Mather Metals in Franklin, Kentucky. "We are very excited to have been awarded the opportunity to build something new here in Bowling Green and create new jobs. We are grateful to the Commonwealth of Kentucky for providing tax incentives to help offset some of the costs of building and operating the new plant."

NASCO was the first Japanese company to locate in Bowling Green. With these investments, the company's total investment in the community will exceed $150 million. Construction will begin immediately and is scheduled to be completed by October of this year. Initial hiring is expected to begin at the end of 2011.

"This is really good news for Bowling Green, Warren County and our region of the state," said Rep. Jody Richards of Bowling Green. "It further confirms what we have long believed: that our area is business friendly and a true hub for the automotive industry."

"Since opening their first plant in 1987, NHK of America has grown into a leading corporate citizen in our community," said Rep. Jim DeCesare, of Bowling Green. "Their growth has helped lead to better high-paying jobs, which have helped support improvements in our schools and our economy. I am pleased that NHK will be expanding and creating more than 100 new jobs, which means they will continue to call Bowling Green home for years to come."

"NASCO's expansion announcement is another reminder of the value that industries find in locating facilities in Warren County and South Central Kentucky," said Warren County Judge Executive Michael Buchanon. "We thank NASCO for its announcement today and for doing business here for nearly 25 years."

"The city of Bowling Green congratulates NASCO on its expansion announcement," said Bowling Green Mayor Joe Denning. "NASCO continues to be a strong contributor to our local economy, and we're thrilled that the company will expand operations here."

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved NASCO for tax incentives up to $2.5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive will allow NASCO to keep a portion of its investment over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

KEDFA also approved NASCO for tax benefits up to $294,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA 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.

These incentive programs are a part of Incentives for New Kentucky (INK), which was enacted by Governor Beshear and the state legislature, including Representatives Johnny Bell, Jim DeCesare, Jody Richards and Wilson Stone of Warren County, in June 2009 to revise previous incentive programs and create new incentive opportunities for economic development. Support given by these local legislators, as well as Senator Mike Wilson, to INK has enhanced industry attraction, retention and expansion efforts throughout South Central Kentucky.

When hiring is complete, the economic impact of NASCO's expansion will create an additional 32 jobs in the community. Additionally, the expansion will increase retail spending by more than $1.9 million. Bowling Green and Warren County will see an increased collection of more than $67,000 in residential property tax, and the county's commercial and industrial property tax will grow by more than $139,000.

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