Kobe Steel Ltd. announced that its U.S. joint venture with Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Toyota Tsusho Corp., Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products (KAAP), recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Based in Bowling Green, Ky., KAAP produces forged aluminum parts for automotive suspensions. KAAP was established in 2003 and began production in 2005. Owing to increasing demand for aluminum suspensions, KAAP has made additional capital investments over the years.

Approximately 150 people from both Japan and the U.S. attended a celebratory event, which included Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and representatives of all the joint-venture partners. Governor Beshear awarded Kobe Steel President and CEO Hiroya Kawasaki the title of Kentucky Colonel, the highest honor awarded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Kawasaki said, “KAAP – as a corporate citizen here in Kentucky – is committed to fulfilling its social responsibilities by contributing not only to environmental conservation, but also job creation in the U.S.”