Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Ernie Fletcher Announces NHK Spring Co. to Locate New Facility in Louisville's Riverport

Press Release Date:  Monday, July 18, 2005  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  


            FRANKFORT, KY – Governor Ernie Fletcher and Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Gene Strong, in conjunction with Greater Louisville Inc. - the Metro Chamber of Commerce and the city of Louisville, announced today that NHK Spring Co., Ltd. will open a new facility in Louisville. 

 

The announcement follows discussions about the Louisville facility during meetings between Governor Fletcher and NHK while on an economic development trip to Japan in May.  The new plant will initially create 79 jobs and represents a $20 million investment in the commonwealth.

 

            “We had a very positive and productive meeting with NHK President Kenji Sasaki while in Japan,” Governor Fletcher said.  “I’m delighted with the company’s decision to locate its newest operation in Louisville, once again placing its confidence in the Kentucky workforce.”

 

            The company plans to build a 94,000 square foot building on an 8.5 acre site in the Jefferson Riverport. The new facility will produce small engine springs for the automotive industry and is expected to be operational by December 2006.

 

“We have selected Louisville not only because of its accessibility to our customers but because of the facility’s location in a suburb of a major city, which offers highly skilled engineers and technicians necessary for this operation,” stated Mr. Kenji Sasaki, President of NHK Co., Ltd.

                       

            Headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, NHK Spring Co. Ltd. is the world’s largest spring manufacturer employing more than 14,000 people worldwide.  NHK has two subsidiary operations in Kentucky employing more than 350 Kentuckians.  NASCO in Bowling Green, established in 1986, produces over 10 million coil springs and 2.5 million stabilizer links and torsion bars annually, and New Mather Metals in Franklin, Kentucky, produces stabilizer bars for the North American OEM automotive manufacturers.

            “NHK's decision to locate its manufacturing facility at Riverport reinforces Louisville not only as a good place to do business, but also as a key component of the automotive industry," said Mayor Jerry Abramson.  "Our city and our state's connection to automakers such as Ford and Toyota, as well as our logistics and transportation infrastructure, make Louisville a strategic location for auto suppliers such as NHK."

"We're excited to have new Japanese investment in Louisville and NHK will be an asset to our manufacturing sector,” said Steve Higdon, President and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc.  "There was a lot of regional competition for this project and we're pleased NHK chose the Louisville community for its new facility.”          

The new NHK facility represents the 139th Japanese owned business in Kentucky.  Currently, Japanese owned companies employ more than 35,000 Kentuckians.

            The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved NHK Spring Co., Ltd for tax benefits up to $1.6 million under the Kentucky Industrial Development Act (KIDA), an incentive program aimed at increasing manufacturing employment in the commonwealth.

 

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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 2004 totaled nearly $2.3 billion with the creation of just over 16,500 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.