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Nissan supplier draws praise
Tenn. officials high on PK USA
by Lucy Weber
CANTON — The mayor and police chief of Gallatin, Tenn., offered encouraging words to their Canton counterparts about a new business in town.
"PK USA will be an asset to the community," said John Tisdale, chief of police for the Tennessee city of 25,000 east of Nashville.
PK USA, located at 123 Watford Parkway in what was once a movie sound stage, supplies Nissan North America with welded interior parts for the Titan truck, Infiniti Q56, Pathfinder Armada and Quest minivan. After starting operations in December, the plant held an open house Tuesday for local leaders and officials of the plant's U.S. headquarters and the parent company in Japan.
Tisdale said he and Mayor Don Wright are so pleased with how their local PK USA plant has reached out to their community, they hopped in the car to share the news with Mayor Fred Esco Jr. and Chief Robert Winn.
"I told Chief Winn about the good things the company has done," said Tisdale, a former Jackson police officer. "They donated money to Police Explorers (Scout unit), gave money and sent people to help with Shop with a Cop (Christmas service program) and held management seminars for officers.
"They are a model for how a city and corporation can partner," he said.
PK USA helped revitalize their city as it supplies goods to nearby Nissan operations in Smyrna, Tenn., Wright said. "When they moved into our industrial park, there were lots of open spaces. Now it's full, and we're looking for another site. They kicked that door open."
Esco said Canton is proud that PK USA is a part of the community. "You have chosen the right place at the right time. We are excited about your doing business here," he told company officials.
Dave Boyer, vice president of manufacturing for Nissan's Canton plant, said the two companies have a "longstanding partnership" that will only be strengthened by the close working relationship here.
"Our success is yours, and your success is ours," Boyer said.
Eiji Umabayashi, president of PK USA headquartered in Shelbyville, Ind., said the company is glad to be in Canton. "It's a good location for our customer. The people here are honest and working hard."
PK USA employs 67 people at the Canton site who oversee 22 robots that do the welding.
Shoichi Namiki, president of parent company Press Koygo in Japan, said the company's philosophy is to "respect all associates and have excellent teamwork. We want to be a good corporate citizen in our new community.
"We're excited about expanding into Mississippi to give primary support to Nissan," Namiki said.
"PK is fortunate to have a good customer as Nissan North America in supporting us in obtaining this business. We look forward to continuing with Nissan for many years," Umabayashi said.
Noriko Kiser, senior financial and operations manager for Mitsui Steel Holdings which is a minority partner with PK USA, said the company is Nissan-centered. "Without Nissan, we wouldn't come here. Serving Nissan is one of the biggest objectives of PK USA."
"The growth potential of PK in the Madison County market is very impressive, and Madison County is very pleased to have this caliber of company locating within our industrial park," said Steve Davenport, chairman of the Madison County Economic Development Authority board, which operates the Canton park.
Copyright 2018 PKUSA Inc.