Kobelco Construction Opens the Doors on New US Headquarters
After announcing just last January that they would build a new facility in the United States, Kobelco has completed construction on their new North American headquarters and moved in. Located in Katy, TX – near Houston – the headquarters marks Kobelco’s renewed emphasis on North America markets with a substantial physical presence in this region.
In the past, Kobelco has been represented in the United States under a marketing agreement with CNH Industrial, but that relationship ended nearly two years ago. Kobelco announced their intention to return to the US in a major way and under their own flag at ConExpo, held earlier this year.
They “visualized” their plans by presenting a large and splashy display. As part of their participation in the huge industry trade show, they manufactured five special-edition SK350LC excavators wrapped in a patriotic design and announced they would contribute $100,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Kobelco originally announced a five-year plan to design and construct a new headquarters somewhere in the US, but then decided on an accelerated timetable to further their business goals. “Our new headquarters is symbolic of Kobelco’s success,” says Pete Morita, President of Kobelco Construction Machinery USA. “It reinforces the company’s long-term commitment to the marketplace and solidifies our worldwide position as The Excavator Authority.”
Eric Hoffman, National Parts Manager for Kobelco Construction Machinery USA, says “Parts and service is an integral and growing piece of our business. Customers demand the best and quickest service possible so we set up the new headquarters to ensure that we can react as quickly as possible to customer requests.”
The expansive facility will serve dealers and customers in the United States, Canada and Latin America. It was built to LEED certification standards, with a functional focus on warehousing. The new building’s custom-designed floor plan and racking configuration are designed to smoothly handle the company’s dramatic increase in on-hand parts, which will facilitate faster delivery to dealers throughout the Western Hemisphere via freight, rail or air.
To supplement the closer availability of parts, Kobelco also designed the new headquarters as an onsite training facility for dealership staff. “Our new state-of-the-art training facilities will allow us to bring dealers in from all over the country for hands-on training,” notes George Lumpkins, Kobelco’s National Service Manager.
Kobelco chose a location near Houston to ensure easy access to all modes of transportation. In addition to enhancing parts delivery, that proximity will enable the company to receive all shipments from overseas at local ports. And dealers will be easily able to travel to the headquarters for training.
Lumpkins says the company’s network of authorized dealers across the US are already highly-regarded for the exemplary service, and Kobelco’s philosophy is to work hand-in-hand with dealers to continue delivering the highest possible level of service. That benefits dealers and the OEM, he says, by ensuring the product line is successful.
Industry sources say Kobelco is also contemplating constructing a manufacturing plant here to serve North American and Latin American markets.