Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
American Howa Kentucky Breaks Ground on New Kentucky Transpark Facility in Bowling Green

Press Release Date:  Thursday, May 24, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker
502-564-2611

Mandy Lambert
502-564-3419
 


FRANKFORT, Ky. – American Howa Kentucky, Inc., a leading automotive supplier with a customer base that includes Toyota, Nissan and Honda, today broke ground for a manufacturing facility in the Kentucky Transpark at Bowling Green.

Upon completion in November 2007, the new 82,000 square-foot facility will manufacture dash insulators, headliners, and other interior products for the automotive industry.  The company will also purchase new equipment and upgrade building fixtures for a total projected investment of over $10 million.  An estimated 61 new full-time jobs will result from the project.

“The arrival of American Howa Kentucky will further enhance the Commonwealth’s reputation as a hub of the automotive industry,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher. “And it is further proof of the importance of the Transpark as an economic engine for the South Central Kentucky area – a region that has attracted 72 new or expanded projects in the manufacturing or supportive services industries during our administration.

“I congratulate the Bowling Green and Warren County communities for their vision, and I welcome Howa to a new Kentucky home,” the Governor said.

“It has been a two-year process to search for our new American Howa Kentucky, Inc. property, but Bowling Green is the ideal location for our customers,” said Howa Textiles, Inc., President Akiyori Shibuya. “I expect to expand our plant at the Transpark to be a core plant in the U.S. for Howa.”

Howa Textile Industry Co., LTD, the sole parent company of American Howa Kentucky, Inc., has been engaged in the manufacturing of interior auto parts such as headliners, door panels, dash insulators, and sunshade trims since its establishment in 1955.  The company is a market leader among Japanese suppliers with a customer base including Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. 

“The opportunities that Howa will bring to the South Central Kentucky region are thrilling,” said Warren County Judge Executive Mike Buchanon. “Howa is presenting us with a substantial investment and an opportunity for plenty of new full-time jobs for our Bowling Green area residents.”

“We know Howa deliberated for a long time about where to locate their fourth overseas facility. We’re privileged and excited that they have chosen to bring their business to South Central Kentucky,” added Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved American Howa Kentucky, Inc. for tax benefits up to $1 million under the Kentucky Industrial Development Act (KIDA), an incentive program designed to attract and expand manufacturing operations in the state. 

American Howa Kentucky, Inc. has also applied for benefits under the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). The program allows approved companies making an investment of $500,000 or more in Kentucky to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on the cost of construction materials, building fixtures and equipment used for research and development. 

A community profile for Warren County can be found at the following link: http://www.thinkkentucky.com/edis/cmnty/cmntyindex.aspx?cw=067


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The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2006 totaled more than $3.4 billion with the creation of over 18,500 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.