Gov. Nathan Deal recently announced that Monroe-based Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Inc. will expand its operations in Walton County, creating 250 new jobs and investing $80 million.
"Yet another prominent, innovative international company has made a commitment to grow in Georgia," said Deal, in a press release. "Walton County and its workforce deserve a lot of credit for providing a progressive business-friendly, work-ready environment that invites existing industries to keep investing there."
Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Inc. manufactures, remanufactures and markets a wide range of automotive systems including engine management systems, electric power train systems, drive control systems and car information systems for all major automotive original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket customers worldwide, providing leadership within Hitachi Automotive Systems' global operations as the regional headquarters in the Americas.
The Walton County facility, formerly Unisia of Georgia Corp., was established in Monroe in 1996 as a fully owned subsidiary of Hitachi America Ltd. Deal met with top executives of the parent company during his business mission to Japan in 2012.
"In order to expand our operations, we have to remain competitive with our sister plants around world and other competitors," said vice president of Operations for Hitachi Automotive Systems America Yoshitaka Mizokawa, in the release.
"We've been able to bring additional business to Georgia because of a strong workforce, and based on our past history, a strong relationship with Walton County and the local community," said Director of Finance for Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Michael Schoon, in the release.
The facility is continuing to add new products that are both energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, according to the press release, and this expansion moves the company closer to its customers. The facility employs almost 300 full-time and 75 part-time workers at its current 230,000-square-foot operation, which produces valve timing mechanisms, propeller shafts and power steering systems for a number of automakers.
The expansion will require an additional 290,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its current two buildings. To ensure its workforce will be ready to begin operations the day the new plant opens, the facility will take advantage of the services of Georgia Quick Start, the top-ranked workforce training program in the United States.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development collaborated with the Development Authority of Walton County on this expansion. Senior regional project manager for GDEcD Susie Haggard led this project on behalf of the state.
"This county is most fortunate to be home to Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas," said Executive Director of the Development Authority of Walton County Nancy Kinsey, in the press release. "Since locating to Georgia and Walton County, this company has been a great asset in providing jobs and helping to expand our tax base. They are also most involved in community activities. The company continues to expand, and it is a great corporate citizen."
"When an existing company decides to expand in its community, it's a great message to the global business world that Georgia understands what companies need to grow," said Commissioner of GDEcD Chris Cummiskey, in the press release. "Communities such as Walton County have long ago instituted the infrastructure and sophisticated support networks sought by both our new clients and our existing ones."