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Auto parts manufacturer opens plant expansion

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A Franklin manufacturer opened a 50,000-square-foot expansion to its plant this week, which will add about 50 jobs over the next three years.

KYB Americas Corp. completed the expansion to the southeast side of its plant, which will house two existing and three new aftermarket parts manufacturing lines, director of administration Lance Clark said.

KYB plans to increase the number of aftermarket parts made, which are sold to businesses such as auto parts stores instead of new car manufacturers, from 750,000 pieces per year to 2 million per year by 2020.

The company, which currently employs about 750 people, will need 50 more workers during the next three years to operate the new equipment, Clark said.

An aftermarket parts sales team will move from Illinois to the company’s distribution center in Greenwood this year, and KYB plans to renovate the former Daily Journal building near its plant on U.S. 31 in Franklin into a new regional headquarters, Clark said.

The renovation could begin in May and be done by the end of summer, he said.

KYB is not releasing how much it is investing in the expansion and new equipment to boost its aftermarket

production, Clark said. The company did not request any tax breaks or financial incentives to help with the project, Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness said.

KYB is one of the city’s largest employers, and the expansion and new headquarters show the Japanese company’s continued commitment to creating new jobs and doing business in Franklin, McGuinness said.

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