Special to the Daily Times

Kentucky’s Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Gene Strong announced Friday that Japanese-owned Akebono Corporation will locate its North American headquarters in Elizabethtown, creating 75 new jobs in the commonwealth.

Akebono Corporation North America is the parent company of AMAK Brake which has a plant in Glasgow.

“Kentucky’s strong partnership with Akebono Corporation over the years has cultivated a tremendous success story for the state,” said Secretary Strong. The addition of their corporate headquarters to Elizabethtown demonstrates the level of confidence they have in Kentucky’s workforce and business climate. We will continue to create an atmosphere where Akebono and other world-class companies can flourish.”

Governor Ernie Fletcher, still recovering from surgery sent his best wishes to the company, “Akebono is an exemplary international company that has embraced Kentucky and its people. I am elated they have chosen to locate their North American headquarters in Elizabethtown, once again making Kentucky its home.”

Akebono Corporation, a leading global supplier of friction materials and brake products to the automotive industry, currently operates all of its North American manufacturing facilities in Kentucky. Opening its first Kentucky facility in Elizabethtown in 1987, the company has since grown to become the largest manufacturing operation in Hardin County, employing 1,200 people in the area.

“Akebono has had a long successful relationship with Kentucky and with Elizabethtown/Hardin County. The decision to have our North American headquarters here, where we have located all of our manufacturing facilities, is yet another confirmation of our confidence in the people and the leadership of the Commonwealth of Kentucky as well as the people and leadership of Elizabethtown and Hardin County,” said Carl Lay,

Vice President Corporate Relations for Akebono Corporation.

Construction of a 10,000 square foot facility will begin in March 2006 to accommodate Akebono Corporation’s North American headquarters, which is currently located in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

“We are enthusiastic about the move of Akebono Corporation North America to Elizabethtown. This will bring the corporate headquarters closer to manufacturing facilities and their associates in Kentucky,” said David Willmoth, Jr. Mayor, City of Elizabethtown.

“We are very excited that Akebono has made the decision to relocate their North American headquarters to Elizabethtown. This further demonstrates the attractiveness of Elizabethtown, not just for manufacturing operations, but also for senior management functions. Ambrake has been a premier corporate citizen during their twenty years in our community and we now welcome their corporate parent who, we are certain, will continue and grow our mutually beneficial relationship,” said R. Gregory Jenkins, Chairman, Elizabethtown/Hardin County Industrial Foundation.

With more than 70 years of brake design and production expertise, Akebono’s commitment to innovation, process improvement, quality control and customer service has positioned it as a key resource for leading OEMs, Tier 1 brake suppliers and the automotive aftermarket. Key automotive OEM customers include Audi, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Akebono Corporation was preliminarily approved by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) for tax benefits up to $1.35 million under the Kentucky Jobs Development Act (KJDA), an incentive program designed to increase service- and technology-related employment in the state.


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