(Photo Courtesy of the Governor's Office)
NAGOYA, Japan – Governor Mike Pence spent the day in Tokyo and Nagoya meeting with the leaders of several major Japanese automakers that currently employ thousands of Hoosiers to thank them for choosing to do business in Indiana and discuss possible plans for expansion.
“Indiana’s skilled workforce is the best-in-the-nation option for automotive companies looking for advanced manufacturing expertise,” said Pence. “Jobs are job one, and this is just another step that’s driving us toward increased employment. After multiple meetings today with automotive executives, we discussed what the companies are seeking for their next expansion and what Indiana can provide them as a state that works for business.”
The governor joined Mr. Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president and chief executive officer of Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd., the parent company of Subaru, for a meeting at the company’s global headquarters in Tokyo where the group discussed the success of the Lafayette production facility. Yesterday, the governor met with Subaru leadership and toured its facilities in Ota City.
The governor also met with Honda Motor Co., Ltd., president and chief executive officer Mr. Takanobu Ito, to discuss Honda’s Greensburg operations. Pence presented Mr. Ito with a scale model of the 2013 Dallara IndyCar with A State That Works detailing. Honda Racing provides engines and is a major sponsor of the Indianapolis-based IndyCar Racing League.
During the afternoon, the governor traveled southwest of Tokyo by train to Nagoya where he met separately with executives from three Japanese companies. Pence first visited with executives from Toyota Tsusho Corp., which has Indiana locations in Columbus, Lafayette and Princeton. He then met with leaders of Sugiura Seisakusho Co., Ltd., the parent company of Columbus-based Sunright America, and another company currently considering operations in Indiana.
In July, Pence joined executives from Sunright America to break ground on the company’s most recent expansion in Columbus. The company recently announced plans to invest $34.7 million to construct and equip two additional facilities on its Columbus campus, creating up to 103 new jobs by 2016. Sunright is a tier one supplier to Toyota, with most of all nuts on Toyota cars in America manufactured – 5 million pieces per day – at the Columbus facility.
Japan-based companies are large contributors to the Indiana economy- more than 44,000 Hoosiers are employed by the more than 200 Japanese companies in the state with investments totaling more than $10 billion. Indiana is the only U.S. state that is home to three Japanese original equipment manufacturer (OEM) automotive companies (Subaru, Honda and Toyota).
The governor will conclude the jobs mission tomorrow, meeting with executives at Toyota Motor Corp. in Toyota City and Toyota suppliers before flying back to Indiana on Saturday.
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