7/11/2010 Shelbyville Offers $6.4 Million in Tax Breaks for About 100 Jobs City Council “Tickled to Death”
"Tickle Me Fero" happy to get new biz!
July 8, 2010 - Shelbyville is getting another Japanese company, and it could bring about 100 jobs with a total payroll of $5.8 million.
KN Platech America Corp. announced its plans Wednesday, the same day Shelbyville's city council approved tax abatements for it to locate an automotive parts manufacturing plant in the former Blue River Stamping Plant that belongs to PK USA.
The company is moving to Shelbyville its facility that manufactures plastic flex-molded components for Honda, Nissan and Toyota vehicles in Japan.
Masaki Shishikura, the company's president, told the city council Wednesday he liked the friendliness of Shelbyville. He said other local manufacturers, including PK USA and Ryobi, could also be good suppliers for his company.
Attorney Hiroaki Nishikawara, who spoke on behalf of the company at the council meeting, said Shelbyville's central location was key to the company choosing to locate in the city.
"We don't call it the crossroads of America for nothing," Nishikawara said.
The company wanted to create its parts closer to the American factories manufacturing the vehicles, and Nishikawara said Shelbyville was close to manufacturers it supplies to in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Honda's nearby facility in Greensburg was a factor in the decision, Nishikawara said, but he also said Shishikura fell in love with the area.
"We're tickled to death to have you here," council member Dick Fero said. "We've been hearing rumors for two years."
Dan Theobald, executive director of Shelby County Development Corp., said he has worked on recruiting this project for Shelby County for two years, specifically noting that economic development takes time.
"The new factory is a great thing for Shelby County," he said. "It will bring in 100 new jobs and fills a vacant building."
The company will invest more than $4.7 million to lease and equip the 50,000-square-foot facility at 1733 McCall Drive, near the Intelliplex technology park, according to company officials.
KN Platech is a joint venture between Japanese-based Kyoraku Co. Ltd. and Nagase & Co. Ltd. Nishikawara said they chose Platech as a play on words with plastic and technology.
City council members approved two 10-year economic revitalization tax abatements for the company Wednesday. One abatement for more than $1.8 million is for real estate, to modify and improve the building, and another for nearly $4.6 million is for investment in equipment, according to documents the company filed with the city.
Theobald said the company already has begun hiring, and the company said in a news release it would begin hiring manufacturing and supervisory associates later this summer. Some local employees will travel to Japan for training while the Shelbyville facility is remodeled, according to company officials.
New manufacturing and technology equipment is expected to be installed by Sept. 30, according to the company's application for the tax abatement. Distribution equipment could be installed by Oct. 31.
"The actual manufacturing will commence in early 2011," Nishikawara said.
Nishikawara showed council members examples of specific parts the company will be creating locally. They included a plastic part for a heating and cooling system in a Honda Fit, a cargo lid for a Toyota Prius and an energy absorption pad for a Honda Civic.
"This is just a sample of what we'll be producing," Nishikawara said.
The company also hopes to expand at some point to include supplying parts to General Motors and Ford, Nishikawara said.
Shelbyville Mayor Scott Furgeson called the announcement significant in the midst of a recession. He said he was most impressed with the number of jobs and potential size of the payroll, estimated at $5.8 million.
Furgeson commented at the meeting that Shelbyville has a reputation of working well with other Japanese manufacturing companies and said he's happy to see another one come to the community.
"We believe that Shelbyville offers one of the best environments for KN Platech to establish and grow their operations, and we look forward to working together to achieve their goals," Furgeson said in a news release.
Kyoraku Co. was among the Japanese companies that met with Gov. Mitch Daniels and state officials during an Asian trade mission in September with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. handling negotiations for tax credits and state incentives.
KN Platech represents Kyoraku Co. Ltd.'s first North American presence. The company, with headquarters in Osaka, Japan, employs about 650 associates at plants and affiliate companies throughout Asia. Nagase & Co. Ltd. operates facilities and partner companies throughout Asia, Europe and North America.
Copyright 2010 The Shelbyville News - Article by A.J Colley - Staff writer