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Japan-Based Cataler North America Eyes Manufacturing Plant in Hickory, North Carolina

Cataler North America Corporation, a wholly-owned Japan-based subsidiary of the Cataler Corporation, a major manufacturer of catalysts for automobiles and engines, plans to invest a minimum of $42 million in a new manufacturing plant in Hickory, North Carolina. The project is expected to create 151 jobs in Catawba County.

Cataler North America is that operates seven manufacturing facilities across the globe. Cataler North America, established in 2002, is located in Lincolnton and supplies automotive catalysts for some of the world’s largest automobile producers. Responding to continuing growth, the company’s new project will establish a second, 100,000 square foot manufacturing plant in the state, with the new Hickory site offering opportunities for engineers, IT, and production personnel, among others. The company currently employs 378 people in North Carolina.

“The catalyst that Cataler North America produces help clean the air we breathe and make our world a better place to live”, said Nakaba Tamura, President of Cataler North America. “We greatly appreciate the support from the State of North Carolina, Catawba County, and the City of Hickory on this expansion project to fulfill the needs of our customers and improve our environment.”

“While sometimes overlooked, North Carolina is a major manufacturing location for the automotive industry,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “We’re pleased Cataler will expand the state’s capacity to support this important economic sector.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s support for the company during its site evaluation and decision-making process.

“Companies like Cataler know that more rural areas of North Carolina like Hickory are the perfect place for a great advanced manufacturing workforce, a lower cost of doing business and a fantastic quality of life,” said Governor Roy Cooper.

Cataler’s project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the course of the 12-year term of the grant, the project will add an estimated $414 million to North Carolina’s economy. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $1,027,800, spread over 12 years. State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.

Because the site Cataler chose is in Catawba County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 2, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving as much as $114,200 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business. Even when new jobs are created in a Tier 2 county such as Catawba, the new tax revenue generated through JDIG grants helps more economically challenged communities elsewhere in the state.

Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Catawba County, the City of Hickory, and the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation.

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