FRANKFORT, Ky. — Berea is already home to the Hitachi Motor Plant and soon the company will establish a new, 200-job operation to make motors for electric vehicles.
Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas has a plant on Mayde Road in Berea and a part of the plant is being renovated to accommodate the new operations. It is hoped that electric motors will begin being made between April 2022 and March 2023, but it depends on the pandemic. Right now the operation has 20 employees and that is expected to swell to approximately 200 in 2021.
In a news release Gov. Andy Beshear said, "This new venture, along with the jobs and wages it will create, adds true momentum to our economic recovery and points to a bright future as we build a better Kentucky." He added, “From an automotive workforce and industry perspective, it’s also crucial that Kentucky continues to attract these kinds of forward-looking projects. The auto industry is in a years-long tectonic shift to electric vehicles. Throughout this, we must advance the commonwealth’s role and reputation as a major player in this hugely important economic sector.”
Hitachi Automotive Electric Motor Systems America, which was established in Kentucky in March 2020, will supply motors on a Tier 1 basis to Honda of America Mfg. Inc.
“We are pleased to establish this new business in Berea, where Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas has forged a robust, ongoing relationship with the local community and state officials over the years,” said Shingo Nakamura, president of Hitachi Automotive Electric Motor Systems America.
Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas operates four facilities in Kentucky. Those include two manufacturing plants in Berea making brake and suspension components, and manufacturing and warehousing facilities in Harrodsburg, producing electronic control systems, actuators, and fuel system components.
The newly formed Hitachi subsidiary joins more than 500 other automotive suppliers and four automotive assembly plants operating in Kentucky. The state’s geographic location in the middle of the country's automotive corridor provides suppliers quick access to dozens of automotive assembly plants within a day’s drive.
In the release, Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley said the company fits exactly into the city’s development strategy.
“On behalf of the City of Berea, we extend a hearty welcome to Hitachi Automotive Electric Motor Systems America Inc. We are very pleased that they have chosen our city to be the first location of their newly formed company. One of our goals over the last two years has been to attract state-of-the-art, advanced manufacturing to our city, and Hitachi MS is the perfect partner,” Mayor Fraley said. “We also appreciate the efforts of the Cabinet for Economic Development in working with Hitachi MS and bringing them to Berea. We look forward to a long term working relationship with Hitachi MS.”