A Japanese corporation that manufactures construction equipment said Wednesday it will open a new factory in Spartanburg County.
Kobelco Construction Machinery USA said it would construct a new 85-acre facility that will manufacture hydraulic excavators in the town of Moore. The company said it would begin work on the roughly $42 million investment in April with a timeline that had the plant operational by January 2016. The new factory is expected to create 131 new jobs, according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce.
It will be Kobelco’s first North American manufacturing plant. The company has been importing its excavators from a Japanese plant.
“We have decided to manufacture standard hydraulic excavators for the US in North America because capacity shortage is expected sooner or later due to the market development speed,” the announcement stated.
“We are thrilled Kobelco has chosen Spartanburg County for its only North American production facility and we welcome yet another global name brand to our community,” Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt, who chairs the Economic Recruitment and Development Committee.
Kobelco’s subsidiary in North America is based in Katy, Texas. The company currently offers five excavator models in the United States. The new Spartanburg plant will start producing 1,800 units of a new model, according to the announcement. Kobelco recently ended a partnership with Italian-owned CNH that allowed the European firm to market and sell Kobelco products in North America.
According to Equipment World magazine, Kobelco previously planned to move its North American headquarters to its new plant. Wednesday’s announcement did not clarify if that is still the plan.
Kobelco Construction Equipment is itself a subsidiary of Kobe Steel, a Japanese-owned steel manufacturer.