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Joint Venture iwis-Daido Locates Manufacturing Base in Murray, Kentucky

iwis-Daido, a new joint venture between iwis engine systems LLC and Daido Corp. of America, will invest $2.7 million and produce high-quality automotive engine chains in Murray, Kentucky. The project is expected to create 37 jobs.

The Murray facility was originally opened by iwis in 2015 as the company's first U.S. operation for the production of timing drive systems for engines. The new investment in tandem with Daido Corp. will add more than 10,000 square feet of space to produce automotive engine chains for major automobile manufacturers.

The joint venture will relocate Daido Corp. automotive operations from Portland, Tennessee, expand sales channels, add to the existing customer base and create cost advantages by leveraging the strengths of both companies. Leaders at iwis-Daido expect the expansion to be completed by the end of 2022.

"Kentucky is fortunate to have an incredibly diverse manufacturing base, with companies representing 32 nations from around the globe, and that will play a key role in the recovery and growth of our economy in the months and years ahead," Governor Andy Beshear said. "This project brings together two companies that have a long history of success, and I am proud they selected our state for this new venture. I wish iwis-Daido well in this new endeavor and thank both iwis and Daido Corp. for creating quality job opportunities for Kentuckians."

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $370,000 in tax incentives based on the company's investment of $2.7 million and annual targets of creation and maintenance of 37 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years and paying an average hourly wage of $26 including benefits across those jobs.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments. In addition, iwis-Daido can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network.

"TVA and West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. congratulate iwis-Daido LLC on its decision to establish operations in Calloway County," said John Bradley, senior vice president of economic development at TVA. "Helping to foster new job opportunities and investment is fundamental to TVA's mission of service, and we are proud to partner with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and Murray-Calloway County Economic Development Corp. to further that mission and look forward to iwis-Daido's future business success in the Valley."

Headquartered in Portland, Tennessee, Daido Corp. has supplied high-quality precision roller chains for the North American industrial and agricultural markets since 1951, as well as chain drive products. The company is a subsidiary of Japan-based Daido Kogyo Co. Ltd., which was established in 1933 and has more than 2,000 employees worldwide.

Formed in 1916 in Germany, iwis is a family-owned company that began as a manufacturer of bicycle chains and added production of automotive timing chains in 1954. The company has since grown to become a global producer of automotive and industrial chains with more than 2,000 employees across 45 locations worldwide.

"As chair of the Economic Development Corp., I am really excited by this project. We knew when we recruited iwis to Murray that good things would happen and that they would continue to happen for a long time," said David Graham, chairman of the Murray-Calloway County Economic Development Corp. "With the presence of Daido Corp., we now have companies from Germany, Canada, Korea and now Japan. Murray is an excellent location both for domestic as well as international companies."

iwis is included among the 78 German-owned manufacturing, service and technology operations currently located in the commonwealth. Companies with German ownership employ nearly 14,000 people in Kentucky. Daido Corp. will join nearly 200 Japanese-owned facilities operating in Kentucky. Japanese-owned companies employ approximately 47,000 Kentucky residents, making it the state's top international investor.

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