German, Japanese-owned companies add to Kentucky’s vast international presence
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2020) – iwis-Daido LLC, a new joint venture between iwis engine systems LLC and Daido Corp. of America, is expected to add 37 well-paying jobs in Murray with a $2.7 million investment for the production of high-quality automotive engine chains.
“Kentucky is fortunate to have an incredibly diverse manufacturing base, with companies representing 32 nations from around the globe, and that will play a key role in the recovery and growth of our economy in the months and years ahead,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “This project brings together two companies that have a long history of success, and I am proud they selected our state for this new venture. I wish iwis-Daido well in this new endeavor and thank both iwis and Daido Corp. for creating quality job opportunities for Kentuckians.”
The Murray facility was originally opened by iwis in 2015 as the company’s first U.S. operation for the production of timing drive systems for engines. The new investment in tandem with Daido Corp. will add more than 10,000 square feet of space to produce automotive engine chains for major automobile manufacturers. The joint venture will relocate Daido Corp. automotive operations from Portland, Tennessee, expand sales channels, add to the existing customer base and create cost advantages by leveraging the strengths of both companies. Leaders at iwis-Daido expect the expansion to be completed by the end of 2022.
Formed in 1916 in Germany, iwis is a family-owned company that began as a manufacturer of bicycle chains and added production of automotive timing chains in 1954. The company since has grown to become a global producer of automotive and industrial chains with more than 2,000 employees across 45 locations worldwide.
Headquartered in Portland, Tennessee, Daido Corp. has supplied high-quality precision roller chains for the North American industrial and agricultural markets since 1951, as well as chain drive products. The company is a subsidiary of Japan-based Daido Kogyo Co. Ltd., which was established in 1933 and has more than 2,000 employees worldwide.
iwis is included among the 78 German-owned manufacturing, service and technology operations currently located in the commonwealth. Companies with German ownership employ nearly 14,000 people in Kentucky. Daido Corp. will join nearly 200 Japanese-owned facilities operating in Kentucky. Japanese-owned companies employ approximately 47,000 Kentucky residents, making it the state’s top international investor.
Murray Mayor Bob Rogers welcomed the growth of iwis, as well as the arrival of Murray’s first Japanese-owned company in Daido Corp.
“We are very pleased to have this great news coming in what has proven to be a difficult time for us all,” Mayor Rogers said. “iwis has certainly been a great company for Murray, and this joint venture with Daido Corp. will provide the Murray operation with much needed jobs. We look forward to welcoming Daido Corp. as our first Japanese-owned company to have a presence in Murray and will do everything in our power to help this joint venture to succeed.”
Calloway County Judge/Executive Kenny Imes said the project highlights the community’s effort to move forward during a challenging year.
“Like most places in the country, Calloway County has suffered greatly in the pandemic. But we haven’t let that stop us from working with our local companies, the Cabinet for Economic Development and TVA to keep striving for success,” Judge/Executive Imes said. “These are good jobs for our people, and especially now the people need hope. I want to assure that we will continue our track record of success and make our community the very best it can be.”
David Graham, chairman of the Murray-Calloway County Economic Development Corp., noted the growing international presence in the area.
“As chair of the Economic Development Corp., I am really excited by this project. We knew when we recruited iwis to Murray that good things would happen and that they would continue to happen for a long time,” Graham said. “With the presence of Daido Corp., we now have companies from Germany, Canada, Korea and now Japan. Murray is an excellent location both for domestic as well as international companies.”
John Bradley, senior vice president of economic development at the Tennessee Valley Authority, said the joint venture has a bright future in Murray.
“TVA and West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. congratulate iwis-Daido LLC on its decision to establish operations in Calloway County,” Bradley said. “Helping to foster new job opportunities and investment is fundamental to TVA’s mission of service, and we are proud to partner with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and Murray-Calloway County Economic Development Corp. to further that mission and look forward to iwis-Daido’s future business success in the Valley.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $370,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $2.7 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 37 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $26 including benefits across those jobs.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
In addition, iwis-Daido can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.
For more information on iwis-Daido, visit iwis-daido.com/en.
A detailed community profile for Calloway County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.