Week of July 22, 2002
  Project Watch
Gov. Roy Barnes
More than 450 Japanese companies have set up operations in Georgia, making Japan the Peach State's largest foreign investor nation, said Gov. Roy Barnes (pictured).
$60M-$100M Toyota-Denso JV
Headed for North Georgia

JEFFERSON, Ga. — They broke out the sake and peaches last week in North Georgia after Toyota Industries and Denso Corp. announced a new 120-employee plant that will be located near Pendergrass, Ga.
        Michigan Automotive Compressor (MAC), a Toyota Industries-Denso joint-venture company, will manufacture auto air compressors at the new plant, which will sit some 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of Atlanta. The 185,000-sq.-ft. (16,650-sq.-m.) manufacturing facility, the second joint-venture operation for Toyota and Denso, will involve a capital investment of between $60 million and $100 million, company officials said. Georgia beat out Tennessee for the project, according to officials with the Jackson County Industrial Development Authority.
        Japanese business operations in Georgia have collectively made the Land of the Rising Sun the state's largest foreign investor nation, Gov. Roy Barnes explained at the project announcement. More than 450 Japanese-headquartered companies have located business facilities in the Peach State, the governor said in Jefferson, the Jackson County seat.
        "I'm happy to witness another building block in our great partnership," Toshinao Urabe, Japan's consul general for the U.S. Southeast, said at the announcement, held in the auditorium of the headquarters of Jackson Electric Membership Corp. "Here in Georgia, the cumulative Japanese investment is $4 billion. The companies employ 30,000 people. They not only generate jobs, they generate taxes, including infrastructure, schools and other services that benefit the whole community."

Wages Will Average $60,000 a Year
MAC needed a second plant to keep pace with North American demand, said Shozo Nakayama, executive vice president of Toyota Industries. The company's total North American sales are projected to grow to 7 million units by 2005, he explained. Denso, which is 25 percent owned by Toyota, is Japan's largest auto-parts manufacturer.
        The company's air compressors are used in a wide range of autos, including models that are made by BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Honda and Toyota. To accommodate potential further increases in demand, the new Georgia plant will be built so that its size and capacity can be doubled.
        The Jackson County site was picked because of its "strategic location" and access to I-85, Nakayama said. The county is also installing all infrastructure to serve the plant, which will be located a 152-acre (60.8-hectare) site in an area once known as Valentine Farms. The area has already been rezoned for light industry.
        MAC's 120 employees will earn average salaries of $60,000 a year, Nakayama said. That's almost three times the $22,208 annual per-capita income in Jackson County, which has some 44,000 residents.
        State and local officials are undoubtedly hoping that the new Georgia plant follows the upward expansion curve that's unfolded at MAC's first operation, which is located in Parma, Mich. That plant opened in 1988 with 150 employees. It's since grown to 900 workers and ranks as the largest North American operation manufacturing compressors for automobile air conditioners.
        Toyota officials at the project announcement toasted the new project with glasses of sake. State officials in turn presented crystal statues of peaches to Toyota's representatives.

Milan Mayor George Killebrew
FRC's 200-employee plant is welcome news in Gibson County, where the unemployment rate stands at 7.9 percent, said Milan Mayor George Killebrew.

British Firm Bringing 200-Employee
Plant to West Tennessee

MILAN, Tenn. — Britain's Flight Refueling Countermeasures (FRC) is bringing 200 new jobs to West Tennessee, and a U.S. Army arsenal will be home to its new plant.
        FRC will manufacture flares and other pyrotechnic devices at the Milan Army Ammunition Plant (Milan AAP), which is located just outside Milan, Tenn. Established in 1941, the Milan AAP spans 22,536 acres (90,144 hectares). FRC will pay a lease rate ranging between $700,000 and $1 million a year in occupying an as-yet undisclosed amount of space, according to Milan AAP officials.
        FRC anticipates that its new West Tennessee operation will open in the first quarter of 2003. The project is welcome news in Gibson County, where the unemployment rate stands at 7.9 percent.

Arsenal Recruiting Private Sector to Cut Costs
FRC isn't the first private-sector concern to establish an operation in the Milan AAP. Seeking to reduce its operating costs, the arsenal in 1999 began recruiting individual businesses to lease space.
        FRC will be the fifth private-sector firm to open an operation in the Milan AAP, which is located some 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of Memphis. The arsenal has a total of 1,461 individual buildings on its grounds.
        The Milan AAP was placed on standby status after the end of World War II. It reopened during the Korean War. The arsenal currently makes medium-caliber ammunition for the Army.
        FRC's West Tennessee operation will make its pyrotechnic devices for the U.S. Dept. of Defense. The company is a subsidiary of Flight Refueling Ltd., which is based in Dorset on England's south coast.

Modena, Italy
From Italy with hydraulics: Parent firm Salami SpA is based in Modena, Italy (pictured), the hometown of opera legend Luciano Pavarotti. Pavarotti returned to the city earlier this year for a charity concert, raising almost $2 million for Angolan refugees in Zambia.
First U.S. Location
Italy's Salami SpA Building HQ/Mfg. Operation in Greene, N.Y.

GREENE, N.Y. — Italy's Salami Hydraulics is coming to America, setting up its first U.S. operation in Greene, N.Y. The company, a newly formed business unit of Modena, Italy-based Salami SpA, will build a new facility that will house both its U.S. headquarters and a manufacturing facility.
        Parent firm Salami SpA manufactures hydraulic lifts and directional control valves that are utilized in mobile equipment, including fork-lift trucks, tractors, truck cranes and garbage trucks.
        The company will hire 100 employees over a four-year span, including administrators, engineers and assemblers. Annual salaries at the facility in Greene will average $35,000.
        Salami expects to begin construction of its new headquarters and manufacturing facility by summer or early fall, company officials said. The first-ever U.S. operation is part of Salami's larger strategy to increase its international market base. Prior to the mid-1980s, the company shipped only 6 percent of its products outside of Europe. Today, Salami ships a fourth of total output outside Europe.
        The new location in Greene is designed to strengthen ties between Salami SpA and its U.S. and Canadian customers, company officials said.

One of Biggest Customers Based in Greene
The operation will place Salami Hydraulics virtually in the back yard of one of its most important customers - Raymond Corp., a manufacturer of electric forklift trucks that's based in the city of Greene. Salami SpA's sales of hydraulic lifts to the Chenango County-headquartered company have made Raymond Corp. one of the biggest clients for the Italian firm.
        The Raymond-Salami linkage reflects part of Chenango County's recruitment strategy, local officials explained.
        "It is important to recognize the significance of the local procurement relationship between Salami Hydraulics and Raymond, our county's major employer," said Chenango County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tammy Carnrike. "The strength of business procurement relationships is an important element in our strategy to revitalize the upstate economy."
        The new operation in Greene will also be used for warranty repair and support of Salami SpA's North American distributors and customers. Currently, all repairs for the company's North American customers are shipped all the way back to Italy.
        The operation's floor space will total between 40,000 to 65,000 sq. ft. (3,600 and 5,850 sq. m.), Salami Hydraulics officials said.
        "SpA Managing Director Gianfranco Leo and I have determined that the Greene facility will be one of the most modern, technically advanced plants of its kind," President Jim Cunningham said. "The jobs we are bringing to New York will be both challenging and satisfying. We love New York and enjoy being part of the Greene community. Together, we will grow and prosper."


©2002 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.