Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Beshear Announces Hitachi Automotive Products (USA) to Expand, Bring Advanced Fuel System Production to Harrodsburg

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, November 10, 2009  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

Governor’s recent trip to Japan leads to investment, more than 100 new jobs in Kentucky


FRANKFORT, Ky. (November 10, 2009) – Joined by officials from Hitachi Automotive Products (USA), Inc. Gov. Steve Beshear today announced the company will expand its Harrodsburg operation, adding a new advanced fuel system production line to the plant.  Furthermore, the expansion could also result in an additional product line for hybrid electric products in the near future. 

“During my recent trip to Japan, I had the privilege to meet with Hitachi officials to discuss the company’s options for growth in the United States, specifically what opportunities we could capitalize on in Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear.  “I’m proud that as a result of our strong relationship with Hitachi and other Japanese-owned companies we’re able to create these additional jobs, investment and future opportunities in the Commonwealth.” 

Hitachi Automotive Products (USA), Inc. opened its doors for business in Harrodsburg in April 1986 and manufactures electromechanical automotive parts selling to most of the world’s major automotive manufacturing companies. 

Since its opening, the plant has grown from a facility occupying 40,000 square feet to more than 400,000 square feet.  Employment of Kentucky citizens has grown from 75 to more than 600.  The latest expansion will add just over 100 new jobs and a capital investment of more than $20.2 million in the Commonwealth. 

“This is great news, not only for Hitachi, but also for our community," said Ken Funasaki, president of Hitachi Automotive USA. “Hitachi is proud and confident that our highly skilled employees are ready for this new challenge and are excited to be a part of the future of automotive technology.” 

The plant’s new production line will permit Hitachi to manufacture, assemble and distribute high pressure fuel pumps for use in the automotive industry’s advanced direct injection fuel systems.  The use of direct injection fuel systems in next generation automobile engines improves fuel economy and reduces emissions.  Hitachi presently produces similar high pressure fuel pumps in Hitachi factories in Germany and Japan.   

Hitachi is also in the process of considering the localization of its manufacturing line for hybrid electric products, which would lead to new opportunities for the Harrodsburg operation.  

“The capability to build hybrid electric vehicles would add important next generation technology to the present product portfolio of the Harrodsburg plant,” added Gov. Beshear. 

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Hitachi Automotive Products (USA) for tax benefits up to $2,881,450 under Kentucky’s new incentive program, the Kentucky Business Investment (KBI) Program.  The KBI incentive can be earned over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments.   

Additionally, KEDFA approved Hitachi for up to $35,257 under the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to receive a sales and use tax refund on building and construction materials. 

“We’re grateful to have such an outstanding corporate citizen as Hitachi in Mercer County,” said Mercer County Judge-Executive Milward Dedman.  “We appreciate this new investment in our community and hope they prosper for years to come.  We also appreciate the hard work of Governor Beshear and his staff, which resulted in this good news.” 

“On behalf of the City of Harrodsburg, we would like to thank Governor Beshear for bringing growth and future prosperity to our community with the expansion of Hitachi,” said Harrodsburg Mayor Lonnie Campbell.  “We would also like to thank Hitachi for their continued contribution to the economic development of Harrodsburg.” 

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