Komatsu America Corp., a manufacturer and supplier of construction, mining and compact construction equipment, last week celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Chattanooga, Tenn., manufacturing operation. Employees and dignitaries were on hand to commemorate the achievements and reflect on the history of Komatsu’s first United States manufacturing plant.
More than 300 people are employed at the Chattanooga facility, which manufactures hydraulic excavators and articulated dump trucks for the North American market.
“This anniversary underscores Komatsu’s commitment to the North American market,” said Dave Grzelak, chairman and CEO of Komatsu America Corp. “Over the past 20 years, we have enjoyed a reputation built on an experienced work force, a strong allegiance to our supplier base and to the Chattanooga community and a commitment to the area’s economic growth.”
The anniversary celebration included remarks from Komatsu executives Masahiro Sakane, president and CEO, Komatsu Ltd. in Japan; Grzelak; and Dennis Riddell, general manager of the Chattanooga manufacturing operation. Community officials also spoke at the event.
The cornerstone of the celebration was the planting of a ceremonial cherry tree on the facility property. As the national tree of Japan, a cherry tree was planted at the site 20 years ago when the site broke ground.
In April 2007, the Chattanooga facility will reach a milestone of producing its 34,000th machine. Today the plant’s main focus is on mid-size hydraulic excavators and articulated dump trucks. The expansive operation covers 488,000 square feet and sits on 53 acres of property.
In addition to its Chattanooga plant, Komatsu operates four other plants in the U.S. and Canada: Newberry, S.C.; Candiac, Quebec; Peoria, Ill.; and Lexington, Ky.
Komatsu America Corp., based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., which is the world’s second-largest manufacturer and supplier of construction, mining and compact construction equipment.