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JapaneseOwned Automotive Supplier to Add More Jobs in Kentucky

Japanese-Owned Automotive Supplier to Add More Jobs in Kentucky

Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products is its second expansion in two years.

Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products (KAAP), LLC broke ground on Wednesday on its 87,000 square foot addition at the company's Bowling Green, Kentucky facility.

The company invested $66 million and will add100 new full-time employees.

KAAP is a joint venture of Kobe Steel Ltd., Mitsui & Co Ltd. and Toyota Tsusho Corp. and has been a resident of South Central Kentucky since 2005.

While there are 11 Kobe Steel subsidiaries in the United States, the Bowling Green location is Kobe Steel's only U.S. facility to forge for the automotive industry.

"Today's groundbreaking marks Kobe's second major expansion in as many years tells me the global economic recovery has deep roots in Bowling Green,” said Gov. Steve Beshear at the ceremony. 

The 87,000 square-foot addition makes room for new furnaces and casting machines, forging presses and advanced processes used to meet increasing demand for high-quality precision aluminum components, such as fully-forged aluminum suspension systems for fuel-efficient, low-emission cars.

"Kobe Steel had many options when we decided to establish this business in Bowling Green,” said KAAP CEO Susumu (Sam) Koike. “We have had great experiences working in Kentucky, and we have never regretted our decision. 

"The state of Kentucky 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."

To encourage the investment and job growth in Bowling Green, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved the company for tax incentives up to $300,000 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.

Once the new facilities are completed, equipped, and hiring is completed, the expansion will generate an economic multiplier impact of $154 million. The project will result in more than $7 million of additional local tax revenues and an additional $34 million in household spending.

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