Operations at Kubota Manufacturing of America Corp. off Ga. 365 in northeast Hall County are fully underway, and it’s been a long time coming.
“Eighteen months since we broke ground,” Phil Sutton, the plant’s chief administrative officer, said Tuesday.
Kubota showed off the utility vehicle manufacturing facility Monday in a ceremony featuring state and local dignitaries, as well as Masatoshi Kimata, president and representative director of the Kubota Group.
The company’s “recent expansion is a testament to why Georgia has been named the top state in the nation in which to do business four years running,” Gov. Nathan Deal said in a press release.
“We take a collaborative approach to doing business here, and we’re proud to work with companies like Kubota who value our skilled workforce and the state and local incentives offered to build and expand in our great state.
“We look forward to continuing to grow together with Kubota well into the future.”
Kubota Manufacturing of America President Hironobu Kubota said, “It’s an exciting day for Kubota as we continue to grow to meet the demands of Kubota dealers and customers for our subcompact tractors, turf products and utility vehicles, all while improving operational efficiencies and realizing manufacturing excellence here in the state of Georgia.”
The 502,000-square-foot building on 180 acres in the Gateway Industrial Centre marks an expansion of Kubota in Hall County. The company operates another plant off Ramsey Road, also off Ga. 365.
Overall, Kubota employs just under 1,500 people in Hall, with 200-250 employees at the new plant, Sutton said.
Tim Evans, vice president of economic development at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, praised Kubota’s new plant and plans for future growth at the site.
“I’m very excited about what that may bring for the future,” he said. “This was a huge commitment on (Kubota’s) part.”
In a 2016 interview, Sutton said of expansion potential: “It’s not like this (new plant) is a startup factory that’s never been operated. The work will gradually increase — and employment will gradually grow with it.”
On Tuesday, he said, “We don’t have any immediate plans (to grow). We have the capacity to do that on that site … for whatever our corporate headquarters decides what’s going to go there.”