By Ken de la Bastide | The Herald Bulletin
Photo by John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON – Despite the day's slight drizzle, NTN Driveshaft officially broke ground on its new Anderson manufacturing plant that will ultimately create up to 510 new jobs.
The Japanese company, with plants already in operation in Columbus and Frankfort, came to Anderson on Tuesday by making a $10,000 donation to the United Way of Madison County.
When the plant opens in the spring of 2017, it will have the capacity to produce 300,000 constant velocity joints for the automotive industry.
NTN Driveshaft intends to have the plant in full production by 2018.
Jim Riggs, CEO of NTN Driveshaft, said the company had conversations with five different states, adding that Anderson and Indiana made it clear that they wanted the plant in Anderson.
“Despite several recent expansions, our manufacturing plant in Columbus has exceeded capacity due to growth in the automotive industry and the resulting needs of our customers,” Riggs said. “After conducting an exhaustive multi-state search, we selected Indiana for this new facility because of its business-friendly climate and policies, the availability of skilled labor and the strong Hoosier work ethic.
“It shows what is possible and there is a great future for NTN in Anderson,” he said.
Hiroshi Ohkubo, president of NTN in Japan, thanked Indiana and Anderson officials for making the day possible for the company’s newest plant.
He said Anderson is the best location for the new plant to supply products to the company's customers. Ohkubo said the company was attracted to the Hoosier state by the business-friendly climate.
“We look forward to building our relationships with the community,” Ohkubo said.
NTN is preparing to celebrate its 100th year in business and is in the process of transforming the company for the next 100 years, he said.
“The Anderson plant is a part of that transformation,” Ohkubo said. “Our goal is to be a company that everyone appreciates being a part of.
“We want to be the best corporate citizen and help to develop the community,” he said.
Gov. Mike Pence said NTN is a great story about the people of Indiana and Japan and that the company chose to locate in Columbus in 1989.
“This investment could have gone anywhere in the United States,” he said. “They decided to invest $90 million in the first phase and creation of 510 new jobs."
Pence said the relationship with Japan goes deeper than economics and both countries share common values.
“Japan and Indiana have a rich tradition in manufacturing and agriculture,” he said. “There is a commitment to making and growing things and a commitment to family and community.”
Pence said NTN Driveshaft will be involved in the Anderson community and there is a relationship of trust.
“NTN believes in the people of Indiana,” he said. “The day belongs to our citizens.”
Mayor Kevin Smith said it was a team effort that brought the NTN Driveshaft investment to Anderson.
When NTN starts production in 16 months, they will wonder why they didn’t come to Anderson sooner, Smith said.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered NTN Driveshaft Anderson Inc. up to $4,700,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $300,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives.
The city of Anderson provided $25 million in incentives to NTN including a 10-year 100 percent tax abatement and the purchase of 80 acres along 73rd Street and Layton Road at a cost of $1.6 million.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.