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Cataler North America Opens Million, 110,000 Square-Foot Headquarters in Lincoln County

Cataler North America, a subsidiary of the Cataler Corporation, which is owned by Toyota Motor Corporation, today opened its $60 million, 110-square-foot North American headquarters at the Lincoln County Industrial Park in Lincolnton, N.C.

On hand to celebrate Cataler’s grand opening was Takashi Kamio, general manager, Toyota Motor Company; Satoshi Nakagawa, president, Cataler Corporation; and North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Jim Fain.

On behalf of the Governor, Secretary Fain welcomed Cataler. “I am pleased to welcome Cataler North America to North Carolina,” said Secretary Fain. “I’ve visited Cataler Corporation in Shizuoka, Japan; and this is an exceptional company. We are fortunate to have them in our state.”

“I would like to extend my sincerest appreciation for the great support received from day one from the State of North Carolina, Lincoln County, the City of Lincolnton and those in the community,” stated Satoshi Nakagawa, Cataler Corporation president.

Cataler manufacturers catalysts, the main component in catalytic converters. In February 2001 the company announced it would open its North American headquarters in Lincolnton. Katsuyoshi Fujishima, president of Cataler North America, says Cataler Corporation has high aspirations for the facility, planning to add two additional buildings on the Lincolnton property. “We are hoping not only to diversify into such areas as catalysts for non-automotive applications, but also to venture into upstream and downstream processes, add R&D facilities, and support any Cataler expansions into South America and Europe,” Fujishima says.

Cataler North America supplies catalysts for Toyota Motor Company automobiles, and expects sales of $200 million in 2003, making it an important investor in the local economy. In addition, Cataler has secured a contract with General Motors (GM) to manufacture 1 million catalysts per year. These catalysts will be used in GM cars and trucks produced beginning in the year 2003. On hand to participate in Cataler’s grand opening ceremony was William Hayden, Manager, Supplier Quality, General Motors Powertrain. Contracts have also been secured with Subaru and Isuzu. Cataler hopes the contracts with GM, Subaru and Isuzu will be a springboard to contracts with other American automakers.

Lincoln County has become a hub for the automotive industry. With close proximity to the innovations of NASCAR, incomparable access to north-south and east-west interstates, and convenient access to international air travel via Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Lincoln County is a logical choice for automotive suppliers.

The Timken Company, a world leader in the manufacturing of integrated hubs and packaged bearings, has called Lincoln County home for more than 20 years. Recently the company announced a $16 million expansion at its Lincolnton facility. This follows an announcement of a $20 million investment to produce integrated hubs and packaged bearings for the Ford Motor Company. Hof Textiles, Inc., a German manufacturer of nonwoven fabrics, is a supplier to BMW and completed an expansion at its Lincolnton facility in 2000.