FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 1999

Lila White
www.thedigitaldominion.com
(804) 692-3110


Akihisa Muyama, Secretary
Koyo Steering Systems of USA, Inc
(540) 343-1550
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces Koyo Steering Systems Selection of Botetourt County
--Japanese company will create 200 new jobs, $37 million investment--


Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that Koyo Steering Systems of USA, Inc. will locate an advanced technology facility at the Botetourt Center at Greenfield, in Botetourt County. The new facility will be the U.S. headquarters of steering systems and will be the first to manufacture electronic steering systems. The company plans to hire 200 people within the next three to five years through a $37 million initial investment.

"I am delighted to announce Koyo’s decision to locate in Botetourt County," Governor Gilmore said. "This project will allow our high-tech manufacturing sector to continue to prosper while enhancing Virginia’s role as an advanced technological leader."

Koyo Steering Systems of USA, Inc. is a new U.S. subsidiary of Koyo Seiko Co., Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, which employs more than 16,000 throughout its worldwide subsidiaries. The parent company manufactures steering systems, bearings, automobile components and mechatronics and FA systems. It has facilities in Japan, Asia, Europe and South America, with U.S. operations in South Carolina and Tennessee.

"The Roanoke Valley of Virginia is the best location for Koyo to start this new venture," Secretary of Koyo Steering Systems of USA Akihisa Muyama said. "The experience of other Japanese companies in the region gave us confidence that we would be successful here."

Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal attended today’s announcement ceremony in Fincastle. "This announcement neatly fits with The Virginia Strategy, the Governor’s strategic plan for economic development," Secretary DuVal said. "Koyo is committing a large investment to a rural community and will become our newest automotive parts manufacturer – an industry that we are heavily recruiting in Virginia."

Governor Gilmore approved a grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund totaling $600,000 to assist the county with site preparation. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Botetourt County and the Roanoke Valley Economic Development Partnership assisted Koyo with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

Koyo is the second Japanese automotive company and the fourth transportation-related manufacturer to locate in Botetourt County since 1995. The company joins Dynax America, Virginia Forge, and Tower Automotive.


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