News story

Komatsu moves production to South Carolina

Thursday, 12 March 2009 ( #401 ) - Covington, GA, United States
Komatsu is moving its production operation
Komatsu is moving its production operation
Komatsu Forklifts USA Inc says it will move its Covington, Georgia production operation to a Newberry, South Carolina site of other Komatsu manufacturing.

Publicly traded parent firm Komatsu Ltd is based in Tokyo.

The relocation of about 200 miles (320 km) is planned to occur before year's end, the company says.

The move involves equipment for production of Komatsu- and Tusk-brand cushion and pneumatic-tyre forklifts with lifting capacities of 3,000-7,000 pounds (1,350-3,150 kg).

Komatsu imports pneumatic-tyre forklifts of 8,000-35,000 pounds (3,600-15,750 kg) from a Komatsu manufacturing facility in Tochigi, Japan.

Komatsu Forklift began assembling units in the US in 1976 initially in La Mirada, California and moved manufacturing in 1995 to the current facility in Georgia.

Komatsu plans to continue building a majority of its North American-sold products in South Carolina.

The shift of production is not expected to impact the Komatsu dealer network or customer base.

Last October, the Covington operation eliminated about a dozen positions although the firm withheld comment about the cutback.

A related firm, Komatsu America Corp of Rolling Meadows, Illinois, says the reorganization will result in closing a manufacturing operation in Candiac, Quebec, Canada by September and a remanufacturing site in Lexington, Kentucky by November in addition to the Covington shutdown not later than the end of December. About 500 jobs will be eliminated.

Regional subsidiary Komatsu America has overseen as many as 12 manufacturing facilities and more than 30 corporate entities in the North American market.
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