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Cataler North America: Clearing the air

Feb 22, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

A supplier of automotive giants such as Toyota, GM and Subaru, Cataler North America Corp. (CNA) is one of the leading manufacturers of automotive exhaust catalysts. These state-of-the-art catalysts clean automotive exhaust and, as a result, reduce toxic substances in the air that millions of Americans breathe.

Cataler North America Corp. President Nakaba Tamura

“Our catalysts are able to turn harmful substances, such as carbon monoxide, into harmless ones, like clean water or air. Through this purification process, CNA contributes a great deal to the preservation of the global environment,” President Nakaba Tamura said.

While it is dedicated to constant innovation, CNA also puts equal importance on contributing to the local community. Currently employing more than 300 people and undergoing multiple expansions since its establishment in 2002, CNA plays a large part in Lincolnton’s development.

In 2017, CNA received the Industry of the Year Award from the Lincoln Economic Development Association in recognition of its corporate social responsibility activities.

“I believe that we have a give-and-take with the local community. A big part of CNA’s success is due to the great workforce present in the Lincoln area. We thank the community for its constant support in helping this company thrive,” Tamura said.

Producing 10 million catalyst units per year, CNA is focused on improving its products further and ensuring its growth across North America. In producing 20 million catalysts annually, the Cataler group makes a significant contribution to clearing the air around the world.

Lincoln County NC: Partnerships done right

Feb 22, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Located just 40 minutes from one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, Lincoln County in North Carolina is among those low-profile investment areas across the United States that are becoming more visible in highlighting their advantages.

“Our proximity to Charlotte and Charlotte Douglas International Airport is one of our key strengths. We also have a low cost of doing business, a skilled workforce and an attractive quality of life. Lincoln County is just as fun as any big city, but without the traffic and expenses,” Lincoln Economic Development Association (LEDA) Executive Director Cliff Brumfield said.

Because of its small size, Lincoln County is able to address the needs of companies quickly and efficiently. It also formed the Industrial Managers Association to lend additional support to existing industries and foster good working relationships.

Among its most significant achievements was persuading Cataler North America to set up operations in the county. In 2017, LEDA gave the Industry of the Year Award to Cataler for its contributions to the community.

“Cataler really sets the bar for corporate citizenship. It’s overwhelming to see how much it has invested in this community. Nothing goes beyond what Cataler has done for Lincoln County,” he said.

Thankful for Cataler’s presence, Lincoln County hope to attract more Japanese companies to the area.

“Japanese companies are dedicated to be active members in their community. We would be happy to foster more relationships with them,” Brumfield also said.

Honda Aero raises bar on jet engine technology

Feb 22, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Honda Aero, Inc., a subsidiary of Japanese car maker, Honda Motor Co., and the engine supplier of business jets, such as the HondaJet, manufactured by Honda Aircraft Company, has redefined jet engine technology by providing engines that enable aircraft with best-in-class speed, efficiency and the smoothest and quietest rides.

Honda Aero, Inc. President and CEO Atsukuni Waragai

The engines are made for GE Honda Aero Engines, a U.S.-based joint venture between Honda Aero and GE Aviation, and sold to Honda Aircraft, maker of the HondaJet, and to other aircraft companies.

Honda Aero attributes its success in the United States to the decision to establish operations in Burlington, North Carolina.

“We chose this location in order to be closer to one of our key customers. Honda Aircraft is only half an hour away from us. We’re also in the center of a major traffic zone for small business jets. This is essential for our growth as we increase our manufacturing and service capabilities,” Honda Aero, Inc. President and CEO Atsukuni Waragai said.

As orders grow for the HondaJet, Honda Aero has increased its delivery of engines over the past years. At the same time, the company wants to expand its customer base for its products and services.

“We are consistently pushing the boundaries with our innovative products. With our recent expansion to manufacture parts in-house, we are ready for more customers. Honda Aero is ready to be the leader in small jet engine manufacturing,” he said.

Double milestone for NGK Ceramics USA

Feb 22, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Since its founding in Mooresville, North Carolina, in 1988, NGK Ceramics USA has expanded more than 15 times over the last 30 years. One of eight subsidiaries in the Ceramics Products Division, the company makes ceramic substrates for catalytic converters, which clean the exhaust emissions of cars and trucks.

The Japanese parent company NGK Insulators Ltd., selected North Carolina for its site because of the state’s location near other players in the same industry and the proximity to raw materials used in the product.

NGK Ceramics USA's head office in Mooresville, North Carolina

“We chose this location because of its strategic fit with our operations. And as we celebrate our 30th year here, I can confirm that North Carolina has been essential to our success,” said NGK Ceramics USA President Steve Dailey, who has been with the company from day one and has seen staff grow from three to 900.

“The journey NGK Ceramics USA had is astounding. It took us two years before we finalized our process and started selling products. Now, we recently produced our 300 millionth substrate,” Dailey also said.

Apart from North Carolina’s business-friendly environment, talented workforce and good quality of life, NGK Ceramics USA also attributes its success to the vote of confidence from its parent company, which is celebrating its centenary anniversary in 2019.

Ceramic substrates made by NGK Ceramics USA

“I’m the first non-Japanese president in this division of NGK. The trust that they gave me to run this facility is something that I’m grateful for,” Dailey said.

As the market for ceramic substrates continues to grow because of stricter global emission standards, NGK Ceramics USA remains dedicated to developing better products.

“We are now seeing a new substrate, called the gasoline particulate filter. It is expected to enter the U.S. market by 2025. Our aim is to convince our headquarters that we are the logical place to make that new product,” Dailey said.

“We are continually strengthening our people, products and systems as the industry evolves. We’re ready to leap into the future to continue our success story for the next 30 years,” Dailey added.

Southeastern USA 2019 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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