MONROE, Ga. — At least 100 new jobs will come to northeast Georgia in a multimillion-dollar expansion of an auto supplier.
Gov. Brian P. Kemp said Friday that Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Inc., a tier-one supplier to the auto industry, would invest at least $100 million in expanding its facility in Monroe.
The expansion could total up to $330 million.
“We are excited that Hitachi chose to expand their facility in Monroe,” Kemp said in a statement from Atlanta. “Hitachi has been a great partner to the Walton County community by investing in employees and creating jobs for more than 20 years.
“I am confident that this investment will not only positively impact the local community, but it will also encourage continued success in Georgia’s strong automotive industry.”
The plant opened off U.S. 78 in Monroe as Unisia of Georgia Corp. in 1997. Hitachi acquired Unisia in 2009, and the Hitachi name went on the local plant on Jan. 1, 2010.
At the time, the company had 175 employees, plus 40 temporary workers. It now has 900 employees but is expanding to increase production due to growth in the auto industry.
“Our company is proud to be operating in the state of Georgia now for over 22 years,” Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Inc. President and CEO Paul Carroll said.
“The Georgia factory with its great workforce supplies advanced technology products for major automotive OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), including Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Nissan, Subaru and Honda.
“We are happy to continue to invest in the state of Georgia as a result of our great partnership with all of our stakeholder, especially the state of Georgia, Walton County and the city of Monroe.
“We look forward to a very bright future together.”
The feeling was mutual from local leaders.
“Our community is very excited to work with Hitachi on their most recent expansion,” Kevin Little, chairman of the Walton County Board of Commissioners, said.
“They have been a great corporate partner, becoming our largest employer, and we are grateful for the quality jobs and investment they provide in Walton County.”
Mayor John Howard called Hitachi “one of Monroe’s finest corporations,” making components for power steering systems and valve timing controls.
“Their community support and involvement is second to none, and we couldn’t be more proud to have them in the city of Monroe,” Howard said.
Tammy Caudell, a senior project manager with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, represented the Global Commerce Division in partnership with the Development Authority of Walton County, Walton Electric Membership Corp. and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
“It’s our goal at the Georgia Department of Economic Development to bring jobs and investment opportunities to our state, and when we establish a relationship with a company like Hitachi who not only creates jobs, but takes an active role in the community, it really takes what we do to an entirely new level,” Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said.
“It’s because of companies like Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas that we have had so much success and such an interest from Japanese companies in Georgia.”
Tokyo-based Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd. Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas also has plants in Harrodsburg and Berea, Kentucky, and Sunnyvale, California, plus four facilities in Mexico and one in Brazil.