Hitachi Construction Machinery Loaders America Inc. (HCMA) celebrated the grand opening of its new U.S. corporate headquarters in Newnan, Georgia, with employees, local dignitaries, business partners and members of the media June 1, 2018. The new facility represents a $4 million investment in HCMA.
The celebration featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony, traditional Japanese Sakura Ceremony, Kagami-biraki Ceremony, presentations from visiting guests from Hitachi Construction Machinery (HCM), factory and headquarters tours and a traditional southern BBQ lunch.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was conducted by Kotaro Hirano, president, HCM Japan; Masaaki Hirose, president, HCMA; and Al Smith, Coweta County Commission Chairman, also included two of HCMA’s longest-serving employees, Claude Smith (Newnan facility) and Ray Guerra (Kennesaw, Georgia, headquarters).
The initial phase consists of the new headquarters facility measuring 12,291 square feet, a new training facility at 3,600 square feet, training facility offices and administration at 5,084 square feet and a future storage building at 21,421 square feet. This investment represents the foundation to support the anticipated market expansion of Hitachi wheel loaders in the North American market and represents the confidence HCM has in the HCMA organization and its distribution network. HCMA says it anticipates tripling its market share in the next five years.
The Sakura Ceremony, in which a cherry tree representing a living legacy and testament to the new business is planted in anticipation of growth and strength, is particularly appropriate as it was only Jan. 1, 2018, that HCMA started business following a three-year transition from KCMA Corp., the company says. Hirano; John Michalewicz, senior manager of manufacturing, HCMA; and Smith conducted the Sakura ceremony.
The Kagami-biraki Ceremony involved breaking open a sake barrel. Two of the longest-serving HCMA employees, Jami Wall (Newnan facility) and Sue Smith (Kennesaw headquarters) served the sake, with Hirano toasting the attendees.
Following lunch, Hirose made closing remarks reiterating HCMA’s appreciation of the support from HCM and the bright future ahead of Hitachi Wheel Loaders in North America.
“A new beginning of a long tradition of value, service and dedication. The introduction of the Hitachi branded loaders and the new HCMA Headquarters exhibits the Hitachi commitment to the foundation of our business, our customers, our dealers and our employees,” said David Agan, vice president of corporate at HCMA.
HCMA says its commitment to the North American market is significant. With manufacturing facilities in Banshu and Ryugasaki, Japan, and Newnan, Georgia, HCMA offers parts availability, a factory component exchange program, customer and dealer training programs and a wide range of services and programs, providing support for Hitachi wheel loaders.