Kobelco Breaks Ground at North, South American HQ

Thu May 01, 2014 - West Edition
CEG

Kobelco employees gather around a Kobelco excavator as they break ground on their new corporate headquarters in Katy, Texas.
Kobelco employees gather around a Kobelco excavator as they break ground on their new corporate headquarters in Katy, Texas.
Kobelco employees gather around a Kobelco excavator as they break ground on their new corporate headquarters in Katy, Texas. (L-R): Randy Hall, national sales manager; Pete Morita, president and CEO; and Ronald Hargrave, vice president of operations, Kobelco Construction Machinery USA, dig in for a traditional groundbreaking at the location of the company’s soon to be new A Kobelco excavator gets ready to begin site preparation work at the future site of the company’s Katy, Texas, based North American headquarters.


When Kobelco Construction Machinery USA relaunched its popular line of crawler excavators in North America in April 2013, the company had ambitious plans for expansion. Just shy of one year later, Kobelco has broken ground on a new Corporate Headquarters in Katy, Texas, to support its fast-paced growth.

According to Pete Morita, president of Kobelco Construction Machinery USA, "We couldn’t be more pleased with the success and growth we’ve accomplished in the past year. As a team, we’ve worked tirelessly to bring back the Kobelco brand and core company values that contractors across the United States, Canada and South America value. The recent groundbreaking at the site of our new corporate headquarters is symbolic of our success and reinforces our long-term commitment to the marketplace."

The company’s LEED certified, 101,300 sq. ft. headquarters will be located at Ten West Crossing in Katy, Texas, and is situated on just over 7 acres of property. Kobelco will have room to add subsequent buildings as demand for the company’s products continues to increase.

Encompassing the 101,300 sq. ft. of building space will be an 87,991 sq. ft. parts warehouse to house an estimated $92 million dollar, 40,000 plus line item parts inventory. An additional 13,339 sq. ft. of space will be dedicated to an expansive sales and service training area, complete with a hands on bench test facility. The balance will be comprised of employee offices.

Kobelco chose the Katy, Texas., location due to its central time zone and three-airport system for ease of transportation into and out of the city. With nearby Houston being the fourth largest city in the United States, its multi-access shipping system will allow the company to receive all shipments from overseas at local ports and ship products to dealers and customers via rail, freight or air, depending on the timeframe and need of the customer, product or part being transported.

According to Eric Hoffman, parts manager of Kobelco Construction Machinery USA, "Parts and service is such an integral piece of our business. Customers demand the best and quickest service possible so we are setting up our entire facility to ensure that we can react quickly to customer requests. One of our core company values is development of personable business relationships that are built on trust. We pick up the phone and talk to customers, helping them whenever we can to ensure they are getting the best production from their Kobelco excavator possible. People have found our personal approach very refreshing in a day and age where voicemails, text messages and e-mails have replaced human interaction."

George Lumpkins, product marketing manager for Kobelco echoed a similar sentiment. "We have a very dedicated team of dealers across the United States and Canada. Our new headquarters is designed to foster ongoing relationships with these dealers that allow them to continue their sales and service training on Kobelco products. By partnering with our dealers on this level, we are helping ensure their success with the product line. Our long-term team approach has helped solidify our dealer network, leaving very little open territory in the U.S. and Canada."

When the new headquarters opens, Kobelco Construction Machinery USA also will take on responsibility for the sales, dealer development and service of Kobelco products in South America.

Kobelco Construction Machinery USA originally anticipated building a U.S. headquarters within 5 years of its brand relaunch, but expedited plans to do so this past summer, scouting and selecting a location before the end of the 2013 business year.

In late January, the company officially broke ground following an annual sales meeting on Jan. 22, at the site of the new facility, with many of the employees who have been so crucial to the company’s early success looking on.

Kobelco has signed a nine year lease agreement on the new facility, with plans to occupy the building by September 2014.