BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – May 19, 2015 – Today, Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products celebrated its 10th anniversary at its Bowling Green, Ky., headquarters. With Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and other dignitaries including Kobe Steel’s president and CEO Hiroya Kawasaki in attendance, KAAP celebrated its successes over the past decade.
Established in 2003, KAAP is an award-winning joint venture of Kobe Steel Ltd., Mitsui & Co Ltd. and Toyota Tsusho Corporation. Kobe Steel houses a total of 13 subsidiaries in the United States, but the Bowling Green location is the only U.S. facility to forge aluminum suspension products for the automotive industry.
KAAP began production in Bowling Green in 2005 in a 184,000-square-foot facility with 62 employees. Today, after multiple expansion projects and more than $180 million in capital investment, the company operates in a 381,000-square-foot facility and employs almost 400.
“Today is a celebration of success,” said Beshear. “Kobe Aluminum has grown in size and significance since establishing in Bowling Green 10 years ago. The company continues to be a crucial part of Kentucky’s thriving automotive industry and a source of quality jobs. I’m honored to join with Kobe’s officials from around the world to celebrate this landmark occasion.”
KAAP suspension products are lightweight-engineered for optimal fuel economy, while being forged in a proprietary process for maximum durability. Each part is manufactured to exact specifications and individually inspected to ensure the highest level of quality and durability. With demand for aluminum suspension expected to grow in response to a need for lighter vehicles that meet increased fuel efficiency standards, KAAP is poised to increase its current market share.
“Over the last decade, Kobe has proven to be a valuable asset to the city of Bowling Green,” said Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. “The company’s multiple expansions here show their loyalty to our community. For this, I’d like to thank Kobe, and wish the company the best for many more decades to come.”
“It’s always a bright day in South Central Kentucky when we can celebrate a company’s continued success in our region,” said Mike Buchanon, Warren County Judge-Executive. “Kobe has proven to be an exemplary corporate citizen for the past 10 years and I’m glad to wish them a happy anniversary.”
KAAP was recently named Goodwill Industries’ 2015 Employer of the Year. KAAP was named the John B. Holland Business of the Year award-winner in both 2012 and 2013 and also recognized as Industry of the Year in 2008 by the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce.
For more information on KAAP, visit http://www.kobeal.com.
About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce:
Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,200 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region. Learn more about South Central Kentucky’s advantages at http://www.southcentralky.com/.
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