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Hitachi’s electric future

Berea plant to make motors for electric vehicles

AS AMERICA BEGINS a transition to electric vehicles, the automotive industry in Kentucky is keeping pace. 

The Hitachi Automotive Electric Motor Systems America, Inc. plant in Berea plans to manufacture motors for electric vehicles. Production could begin between April 2022 and March 2023, in part based on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The operation currently employs 18 people and is expected to grow to approximately 200 in 2023. 

Established in Kentucky in March 2020, Hitachi Automotive Electric Motor Systems America will supply motors to Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. 

“We are pleased to establish this new business in Berea, where Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas has forged a robust, ongoing relationship with the local community and state officials over the years,” says Shingo Nakamura, president of Hitachi Automotive Electric Motor Systems America, Inc. “The new venture is a critical piece in strengthening Hitachi’s foundation in the fast-growing electric vehicle market and supporting the revitalization of the economy in Kentucky through job creation in response to COVID-19.” 

“This new venture, along with the jobs and wages it will create, adds true momentum to our economic recovery and points to a bright future as we build a better Kentucky. From an automotive workforce and industry perspective, it’s also crucial that Kentucky continues to attract these kinds of forward-looking projects. The auto industry is in a years-long tectonic shift to electric vehicles. Throughout this, we must advance the commonwealth’s role and reputation as a major player in this hugely important economic sector.”—Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear

The new subsidiary joins more than 500 other automotive suppliers and four automotive assembly plants operating in Kentucky. The state’s geographic position in the middle of the country’s automotive corridor provides suppliers quick access to dozens of automotive assembly plants within a day’s drive. 

In Kentucky, Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas operates four facilities. Those include two manufacturing plants in Berea making brake and suspension components, and manufacturing and warehousing facilities in Harrodsburg, producing electronic control systems, actuators and fuel system components. 

“We are not only proud to supply the electricity for Hitachi Automotive Electric Motor Systems America, Inc. in Berea, we are excited to see the development of electric vehicle technology and production in our service area,” says Mike Williams, president and CEO of Blue Grass Energy. “Our community is so fortunate to count them as one of our own.” 

On April 1, 2021, Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc. will change its name to Hitachi Astemo Americas with its subsidiaries also changing their names to follow the new naming convention. 

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