CHICAGO Kobe Aluminum
Automotive Products LLC (KAAP) has broken ground on a
$66-million expansion at its Bowling Green, Ky., facility as
the company looks to boost its offerings to the automotive
The investment includes an
87,000-square-foot addition to make room for new furnaces,
casting machines, forging presses and other equipment needed to
meet increased demand for precision aluminum components in the
auto sector, according to the Bowling Green Area Chamber of
Among the parts the facility
will make are fully forged aluminum suspension systems for
fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles.
The addition is expected to
create 100 jobs, which should boost employment to 320 by
mid-2016, the chamber said. The company employed 270 people as
of May 15, adding 50 jobs since it applied for incentives for
the expansion because of increased market demand.
The Kentucky Economic
Development Finance Authority has preliminarily approved tax
incentives of up to $300,000, the chamber said, and additional
incentives are pending approval.
"We do not take these incentives
for granted and will do our best to fulfill our employment
obligations," KAAP president and chief executive officer Susumu
Koike said in a statement.
The Japanese auto supplier last
year announced plans to build a production line to meet growing
North American demand for cast aluminum bars. The plant, set to
open in August 2013, will have a production capacity of 4,000
tonnes per year (
amm.com, Nov. 21).
KAAP is a joint venture between
Japans Kobe Steel Ltd., Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Toyota
Tsusho Corp. While Kobe Steel operates 11 subsidiaries in the
United States, the Bowling Green location is the companys
only U.S. facility that forges for the automotive sector, the