Shelbyville is getting another Japanese company, and it could bring about 100 jobs with a total payroll of $5.8 million.

KN Platech America Corp. announced its plans Wednesday, the same day Shelbyville’s city council approved tax abatements for it to locate an automotive parts manufacturing plant in the former Blue River Stamping Plant that belongs to PK USA.

The company is moving to Shelbyville its facility that manufactures plastic flex-molded components for Honda, Nissan and Toyota vehicles in Japan.

Masaki Shishikura, the company’s president, told the city council Wednesday he liked the friendliness of Shelbyville. He said other local manufacturers, including PK USA and Ryobi, could also be good suppliers for his company.

Attorney Hiroaki Nishikawara, who spoke on behalf of the company at the council meeting, said Shelbyville’s central location was key to the company choosing to locate in the city.

“We don’t call it the crossroads of America for nothing,” Nishikawara said.

The company wanted to create its parts closer to the American factories manufacturing the vehicles, and Nishikawara said Shelbyville was close to manufacturers it supplies to in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Honda’s nearby facility in Greensburg was a factor in the decision, Nishikawara said, but he also said Shishikura fell in love with the area.

Dan Theobald, executive director of Shelby County Development Corp., said he has worked on recruiting this project for Shelby County for two years, specifically noting that economic development takes time.

“The new factory is a great thing for Shelby County,” he said. “It will bring in 100 new jobs and fills a vacant building.”

The company will invest more than $4.7 million to lease and equip the 50,000-square-foot facility at 1733 McCall Drive, near the Intelliplex technology park, according to company officials.

KN Platech is a joint venture between Japanese-based Kyoraku Co. Ltd. and Nagase & Co. Ltd. Nishikawara said they chose Platech as a play on words with plastic and technology.

City council members approved two 10-year economic revitalization tax abatements for the company Wednesday. One abatement for more than $1.8 million is for real estate, to modify and improve the building, and another for nearly $4.6 million is for investment in equipment, according to documents the company filed with the city.

Theobald said the company already has begun hiring, and the company said in a news release it would begin hiring manufacturing and supervisory associates later this summer. Some local employees will travel to Japan for training while the Shelbyville facility is remodeled, according to company officials.

New manufacturing and technology equipment is expected to be installed by Sept. 30, according to the company’s application for the tax abatement. Distribution equipment could be installed by Oct. 31.

“The actual manufacturing will commence in early 2011,” Nishikawara said.

KN Platech represents Kyoraku Co. Ltd.’s first North American presence. The company,  with headquarters in Osaka, Japan, employs about 650 associates at plants and affiliate companies throughout Asia. Nagase & Co. Ltd. operates facilities and partner companies throughout Asia, Europe and North America.

Staff writer B.J. Fairchild-Newman contributed to this report.
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