One million units.
That’s 1 million tractors, mowers and additional parts manufactured by Kubota Manufacturing of America in 27 years.
It’s also 1 million examples of the company’s prowess and impact in North Georgia.
Kubota Manufacturing of America celebrated its millionth unit manufactured at its Gainesville plant at 2715 Ramsey Road with a massive event Monday morning, with special guests including Masatoshi Kimata, president and representative director of Kubota Corp., Henry Kubota, president of Kubota Manufacturing of America, and Gov. Nathan Deal.
“It is truly a great day to be a part of the Kubota Manufacturing of America team,” Kubota said. “For more than a quarter of a century, Kubota Manufacturing of America has been a proud partner with this community. As we have grown, Kubota has created many jobs in Northeast Georgia, growing from less than 50 employees in 1988 ... to our more than 2,300 manufacturing jobs today in Northeast Georgia.”
In 1988, Kubota Manufacturing of America began operations with production of tractor parts. By 1994, it was the North American tractor
Kimata said the company has experienced extreme growth in the years since.
“For me, the year 1988 was an unforgettable year,” he said. “It was the year KMA was established, and I came to the United States for the first time as an original member of KMA.”
Kubota specifically thanked the company’s many employees and their families for building not just units but the company itself “into something we can all be proud of.”
“It has been five years since I arrived in Georgia and joined KMA,” Kubota said. “In these five years, we have not only recovered from the big recession, but we have continued to grow and have celebrated many milestones and much success along the way.”
Every Kubota employee was invited to the celebration Monday, filling a tent in the factory parking lot.
Kazuo Sunaga, consul general of Japan in Atlanta, remarked, “I have never spoken to so many people in my life.”
Kubota’s growth is on track to continue, according to company officials. KMA broke ground on a second manufacturing facility adjacent to the current one. Kimata said they hope to be in production in the new facility in 2017.
Deal commended the company for its success and how it reflects on Georgia.
“We appreciate the fact that KMA is providing these 2,300 jobs, and we anxiously look forward to the completion of the new factory, so we can add even more numbers to the current workforce here in Northeast Georgia,” Deal said. “It is companies like Kubota that have come to Georgia, have decided this is a good place to do business and have not only remained here, but it seems they have expanded here. That is the greatest confidence anyone can place in a community or a state.”
Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan said Kubota has helped make the Gainesville-Hall County area a “better place to live, work and play.”
As a surprise thank-you to the community, the company presented representatives from Gainesville Police Department and Hall County Fire Services with two gifts — customized, state-of-the-art utility vehicles.
“I would like to thank the great people and leaders of Gainesville, Hall County and the state of Georgia,” Kubota said. “We could not have achieved these great things without you, your friendship and your support. Thank you very much.”