Deere-Hitachi Construction Machinery Corp. announced it will expand its operations in Kernersville, N.C., creating at least 340 jobs by 2016, adding to the 700 current employees at the North Carolina plant. The company will invest more than $97 million in the facility, it said, increasing its excavator-manufacturing operations by 60 percent. The company will also buy 60 acres and open a second plant with 330,000 square feet.
The plant is a partnership between Hitachi Construction Machinery and Deere & Co. The expanded operations will enable it to increase production of excavators for the mining and construction industries. The investment will increase capacity on current machine models manufactured in Kernersville and add production capability for additional mid-sized excavator models.
The land includes a 250,000-square-foot warehouse the company had been leasing. Deere-Hitachi will also expand its current facility by 170,000 square feet, using the extra space for fabrication and painting. By the time the expansion is completed, there will be about 1.1 million square feet of operational space, Deere Hitachi officials said, adding that the company projects that vendors and suppliers will add a job for every new Deere-Hitachi job.
“This investment will have a significant positive impact on the state of North Carolina, providing additional employment opportunities for Deere-Hitachi as well as many of our North Carolina-based suppliers,” said Al Seeba, president and CEO, Deere-Hitachi Construction Machinery Corp. “Deere-Hitachi has been manufacturing in the state since 1988 and we are pleased to partner with state and local officials to help make our vision a reality.”
The machines produced at the plant are sold throughout North, Central and South America.
The Deere-Hitachi joint venture was established in 1988. The companies last year announced plans for a new excavator factory in Brazil.