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Calsonic Kansei adding 1,200 jobs at Tenn. plants

Posted on Friday, September 13, 2013 at 9:00 am

(Photo courtesy )

(Photo courtesy <news.tn.gov> )

SHELBYVILLE — Auto parts supplier Calsonic Kansei North America announced last week that it will add 1,200 jobs at its plants in Tennessee.

The Nissan subsidiary said that it is investing $109 million at its facilities in Lewisburg, Shelbyville and Smyrna, and that total employment in the state will reach nearly 3,800 within three years. Shelbyville is expected to get approximately 500 of those new jobs.

Shingo Yamamoto, the company’s regional president and CEO, said the expansion reflects “unprecedented” growth.

Calsonic’s Lewisburg plant makes electronics and plastic components for interiors, while the Shelbyville facility makes exhaust units, catalytic converters and manifolds. The Smyrna facility near the Nissan assembly plant places Calsonic products into vehicles.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said it was exciting to announce this many new jobs, to add to the 2,600 people who already work for CKNA.

“It proves the benefit of our strategy of building on our established business growth and on an industry of strength for us, which is automotive,” Haslam told reporters following the announcement.

With 275 other companies in the state supplying the automotive industry, Haslam said, “there’s a whole virtual circle that adds to the whole Tennessee economy.”

Thirty years ago, Nissan established itself in Smyrna and Calsonic in Shelbyville, and Haslam said he believed Nissan’s growth led to the many suppliers moving to this area to serve the plant.

Calsonic has been operating in Tennessee since 1983, when Nissan opened its first U.S. plant on the outskirts of Nashville.

 —ERIK SCHELZIG, Associated Press

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