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Posted: March 6, 2009 5:18 p.m.

Komatsu to close Covington forklift facility

160 local employees affected

The Komatsu America Corporation announced plans to close three of its facilities, including the Komatsu Forklift U.S.A. facility in Covington, as part of a reorganization effort. 

The other two facilities to be closed are the Candiac Manufacturing Operation in Candiac, Quebec, Canada and Komatsu Remanufacturing Operation in Lexington, Ky. The work done at the Candiac and Covington facilities will be transferred to Newberry Manufacturing Operation in Newberry, S.C.

"The decision to reorganize these North American facilities was not made lightly, nor easily," said David Grzelak, chairman and CEO of Komatsu America Corp., in a released statement. "However, this restructuring will allow Komatsu to better utilize the resources we have and place us in a better position for the future." The statement cited the current economic environment and decreased product demand as the reasons behind the consolidation effort.

Approximately 500 employees impacted by the decision were notified today. The Covington facililty employs 160 people, according to a Komatsu America spokesperson.

 The final closure is expected by the end of December 2009 at the Covington Komatsu Forklift facility, by the end of September 2009 at Candiac Manufacturing Operation and by the end of November 2009 at the Remanufacturing facility. Komatsu Ltd. will maintain remanufacturing operations in other existing locations.

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