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In a reversal of the trend to offshore manufacturing production to foreign countries, Clark Material Handling Company recently announced that it was “re-shoring” the building of two of its most popular product lines to its Lexington, Kentucky, facility.
Beginning in May, Clark will start building its popular ECX (four-wheel electric) and TMX (three-wheel electric) product lines at its Lexington plant. The two forklift lines previously were built in a Clark plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
Doubling Its Size
The two new production lines will require Clark to more than double the size of its existing facility. The $4.8 million expansion is expected to create 30 additional full-time jobs, according to Dennis Lawrence, Clark’s president and CEO.
“The investment Clark is making today in its Lexington manufacturing operations is a direct result of the significant increase in business opportunities Clark has experienced over the past two years,” Lawrence said in a news release. “The expansion of manufacturing operations in North America solidifies Clark’s long-term commitment to its dealers and customer while providing additional employment opportunities for Central Kentuckians.”
Part of Global Expansion Plan
To make room for the expansion, Clark recently bought four acres of land adjacent to its current facilities in Lexington, bringing the square footage of the campus to more than 162,000 feet.
The shift in production is part of the first phase of a global expansion the company previously announced which includes additional manufacturing capacity in the US, Brazil and Europe. By 2020, the company plans on growing in size by 150%.
Tax Credits and Other Incentives
To accommodate the expansion, the local Kentucky Business Investment program approved up to $400,000 in tax incentives for the company. The program, which is administered through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA), lets businesses keep a portion of their investments over the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments as long as they meet job and investment targets.
Clark also received another $100,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which lets businesses recoup state sales and use taxes on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research, and development and electronic processing.
Long History in Kentucky
The company’s Lexington facility was build in 1974 and Clark relocated its headquarters there in 1985. Clark currently is owned by South Korea’s Young An Corporation and has produced more than 1 million forklifts.
The company also makes a wide range of internal combustion and electric trucks and parts and has a global distribution network that includes more than 550 dealers.