Daily Journal masthead

Auto parts-maker set to expand, add about 50 new jobs


Follow Daily Journal:


Photos:

Connie Sgro and Guy Durham assemble parts to a vehicle strut at KYB's Franklin facility. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal
Connie Sgro and Guy Durham assemble parts to a vehicle strut at KYB's Franklin facility. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal

Zung Thang moves a strut assembly from one welding machine to another at KYB's Franklin facility. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal
Zung Thang moves a strut assembly from one welding machine to another at KYB's Franklin facility. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal


A Franklin auto parts manufacturer is expanding and plans to create about 50 jobs within three years.

KYB Americas Corp. will build a 45,900-square-foot expansion at the south side of its facility so it can move and expand its work in aftermarket parts production.

The company’s aftermarket business produces shock absorbers for parts dealers, instead of selling directly to auto production facilities, vice president of operations Sal Milioto said. The new building will allow KYB to move the aftermarket production equipment into its own area and add welding, machining and assembly lines within the next three years, he said.

What’s next

A Franklin manufacturing company is planning an expansion. Here is a look:

Expansion: KYB Americas Corp. will add about 46,000 square feet to the south side of its facility in Franklin. The company will move its aftermarket parts production lines into the new space and add equipment over the next three years, creating 50 to 60 new jobs.

Growing: KYB plans to increase its aftermarket parts production from about 800,000 parts produced in Franklin last year to 2 million by 2020. Aftermarket parts can be sold for a higher profit than parts sold to auto producers.

Next in line: KYB is the third auto parts producer in Franklin to expand in the last year. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Climate Control is spending $12 million to add new turbocharger production lines, and NSK Corp. is investing $30 million to add new ball screw and ball bearing production equipment.

Over the three years, the company will add equipment and hire 50 to 60 more employees, Milioto said. The move also will free up space in the main building, at 2625 N. Morton St., for future expansions in production lines that make parts for auto producers, he said.

The company already employs 715 workers, making it one of the county’s largest private employers.

Aftermarket production at KYB has increased from about 290,000 units produced three years ago to more than 790,000 in 2012, he said. The company plans to continue increasing that production to hit 2 million shock absorbers by 2020.

Aftermarket parts have a higher profit margin than parts being sold to auto producers, so KYB is increasing the amount of parts it can produce in Franklin, he said.

Milioto declined to release how much KYB is spending on the new building and planned equipment expansions but said the company plans to apply for local tax breaks. KYB has not filed any paperwork with the city yet, Franklin community development director Krista Linke said.

KYB has expanded multiple times since locating in Franklin in 1989. In 2006, KYB more than doubled the size of the plant with a 260,000-square-foot expansion and in 2011 announced another expansion and that the company was purchasing the nearby Daily Journal building for office space and research facilities. The company named the facility in Franklin its North American headquarters in 2011.

KYB is having a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 30 for the latest expansion, and construction is expected to start soon after, Milioto said.

Mayor Joe McGuinness called the new expansion by the Japanese-owned company exciting for the city.

“It’s a very exciting time with KYB. Their commitment to the city and the county has been around for decades, and the continued expansion, it shows that dedication,” McGuinness said.

The KYB project is the third auto parts manufacturer in the city to announce an expansion in the past year. It joins a $12 million expansion by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Climate Control to add a new turbocharger production line and a $30 million investment by NSK Corp. to expand its ball screw and ball bearing production lines.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

All content copyright ©2015 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.