Japanese Automotive Supplier Opens New Plant in Kentucky

Auto sector in Kentucky employs 68,000.

Kentucky, which ranks third highest in auto industry-related employment as a percent of total state employment among the top motor vehicle producing states in the U.S., just added more jobs. Investing $20.3 million and creating 50 jobs, Asahi Bluegrass Forge opened a new plant in Richmond, Ky. on June 6.

Kentucky is currently home to more than 440 automotive-related industries that employ more than 68,000 people.

"We are honored that Asahi Forge made the decision to build a second manufacturing plant in Richmond," said Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes. "Asahi has been a valuable member of our industrial community since 2003."

Asahi Bluegrass Forge is one of 150 facilities in Kentucky that are Japanese owned. Together these companies employ 34,000 across the state. Asahi Bluegrass Forge's parent company is Asahi Forge Corp., a Japanese company that specializes in producing such automotive parts as hub units, gears, transmission components, bearings and joints.

Just last month, Gov. Steve Beshear made a seven-day economic development trip to Japan and Taiwan to further promote foreign direct investment opportunities in the Commonwealth. Kentucky has the second-highest Japanese foreign direct investment on a per capita basis.

As part of the incentives to locate in Richmond, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $1 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

KEDFA also approved Asahi Bluegrass Forge for tax benefits up to $120,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, 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.

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