KIRIU USA is now making 3.6 million brake rotors a year, something which is forcing the Bowling Green auto-industry supplier to expand.
So the company will spend about $10 million to bring in new equipment for two new production lines and to add onto its existing building on Mitch McConnell Way, according to company President and CEO Mark Kimura.
At a groundbreaking for the project Thursday, Kimura said the addition should be complete by the time the company has its 10th anniversary in Bowling Green in the fall.
Now KIRIU has 115 employees and is in the process of hiring 10 to 15 more employees to handle the increased demand for production that is a result of new auto customers.
KIRIU currently provides 100 percent of Nissan and 90 percent of Subaru rotor demands in the U.S. It also supplies General Motors and Honda.
It’s now KIRIU’s goal to move from the No. 2 brake rotor manufacturer to the No. 1 spot.
Kimura said the company is exploring the possibility of seeking state tax credits for the project.
D. Gaines Penn, chairman of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, said this project, though small in overall added employment, still contributes to the larger economic development picture.
“If you take this project ... along with all of the others that we have had, we are on track to have a really good year in terms of economic development,” Penn said.
This is the fourth economic development announcement the chamber has participated in this year. In all, companies will invest $18.5 million and create 191 jobs. Those companies include Taggart Solar in Edmonson County, 30 jobs; Holley Performance Products, 136 jobs; and Yahagi America Molding in Edmonson County, five to 10 jobs.
The KIRIU expansion will have an additional $1.75 million economic impact, with an additional $409,000 in household income and $112,000 in local tax revenues once the project is complete, according to a chamber news release.
As the company has grown, so have the Japanese cherry trees that Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon had planted in the company’s honor, Kimura said.