Hitachi Construction Machinery Loaders America Inc. recently celebrated the grand opening of its new U.S. corporate headquarters in Newnan, Ga., with employees, local dignitaries, business partners and members of the media.

The celebration featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a traditional Japanese Sakura ceremony, a Kagami-biraki ceremony, presentations from visiting guests from Hitachi Construction Machinery, factory and headquarters tours, and a traditional southern BBQ lunch.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony conducted by Kotaro Hirano, president, HCM Japan; Masaaki Hirose, president, HCMA; and Al Smith, Coweta County Commission Chairman also included two of the longest serving employees, Claude Smith (Newnan facility) and Ray Guerra (Kennesaw headquarters).

The new facility represents a $4 million investment by HCM to HCMA. The initial phase consists of the 12,291-square-foot new headquarters facility; a new 3,600-square-foot training facility, a 5,084-square-foot training facility with offices and administration; and a 21,421-square-foot future storage building. This investment represents the foundation to support the anticipated market expansion of Hitachi Wheel Loaders in the North American market. The investment also represents the confidence HCM has in the HCMA organization and the distribution network. Anticipating future growth, HCMA anticipates tripling its market share in the next five years.

The Sakura Ceremony, the planting of the cherry tree, representing a living legacy and testament to the new business, in anticipation of growth and strength, is particularly appropriate as it has only been since January 1, 2018 that HCMA commenced business following a three-year transition from KCMA Corporation. The Sakura Ceremony was conducted by Kotaro Hirano, president, HCM Japan; John Michalewicz, senior manager – manufacturing, HCMA and Smith.

The Kagami-biraki Ceremony, concluded the ceremonies with Hirano, and Michalewicz breaking open the sake barrel, and two of the longest serving employees, Jami Wall (Newnan facility) and Sue Smith (Kennesaw, Ga., headquarters) serving the sake. Hirano toasted the attendees earning a standing ovation from all 140 employees, and local dignitaries. Following a traditional southern BBQ lunch, Hirose made the closing remarks reiterating HCMA’s appreciation of the support from HCM, and the bright future ahead of Hitachi Wheel Loaders in North America.

“A new beginning of a long tradition of value, service and dedication,” said David Agan, vice president, corporate. “The introduction of the Hitachi branded loaders and the new HCMA Headquarters exhibits the Hitachi commitment to the foundation of our business, our customers, our dealers, and our employees.”

The commitment of Hitachi Construction Machinery Loaders America Inc. to the North American market is significant. With manufacturing facilities in Banshu and Ryugasaki, Japan, and Newnan, Ga., HCMA offers parts availability, a factory component exchange program, customer and dealer training programs, and a wide range of services and programs, providing support for Hitachi wheel loaders. The HCMA team is focused on wheel loaders.