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NEW VENTURE CREATES JOBS NOT JABS BETWEEN U.S. AND JAPANESE COMPANIES

NEW VENTURE CREATES JOBS NOT JABS BETWEEN U.S. AND JAPANESE COMPANIES
 SALEM, N.J., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- For more than two years, Mannington Resilient Floors, one of the fastest-growing flooring manufacturers in the United States, has been closely working with a Japanese conglomerate, Takiron Co., LTD., to build a U.S. manufacturing plant using state-of-the-art Japanese technology to create American jobs right here at home.
 Today, the multimillion-dollar commercial inlaid plant will be dedicated in a formal ceremony marked by a spirit of U.S./Japanese cooperation that has been lacking since President Bush returned from Japan in January. It will also be the first time Takiron, with sales of more than $450 million, will enter the U.S. market, and the first U.S./Japanese joint venture in floor covering industry history.
 "We couldn't be more pleased with our new relationship with Takiron," said Scott Smith, president and chief executive officer of Mannington. "We've been fortunate to not only be able to use their superior technology, but to benefit from their willingness to build solid partnerships with our executives and employees in the plant. This gives us a great advantage because it will help us compete aggressively in the commercial flooring market, and will give us the added benefit of taking advantage of Takiron's considerable resources.e products presently available for use in commercial facilities such as hospitals and office buildings, among others. It will also create new jobs for local workers, some of whom will have special training thanks to Takiron engineers, as well as work in "self-directed work teams," a relatively new management system that gives the employee total responsibility for the product or function that he or she is responsible.
 According to Mannington Resilient Floors President Thomas P. McAndrews, the new venture points to the company's mission of becoming the unequivocal leader in quality and innovation in the $25 billion floor covering industry.
 "We've been saying for a long time now that Mannington will not stop until we become the best flooring manufacturer in the country," he said. "Our recent growth indicates that the innovative products we create, and the services we provide, are having a dramatic and positive impact on consumers. This is important to us because of our dedication to customer service and uniform belief that in order to be the best, you have to pay close attention to what your customers want and need."
 McAndrews said the company's entry into the commercial market only seven months ago points to the need to service the commercial segment, which represents approximately 30 percent of the vinyl flooring category.
 Ed Duncan, vice president of the commercial division, said the new technology that Takiron provided will enable Mannington to produce the highest quality inlaid sheet vinyl, broadloom carpet and carpet modules.
 "In the simplest terms, what this new technology does is enables us to produce high performance commercial vinyl flooring with patterning through to the backing that will not fade with wear, and comes in a wide range of coordinating colors and designs," he said. "By utilizing sophisticated systems, we're able to design and manufacture products that commercial consumers desired, but previously were not available."
 Takiron Chairman Hiroshi Yamaguchi was present at the dedication ceremony where he and four Takiron representatives participated as well as spent the day touring the facility and the Salem County area.
 Yamaguchi has been with Takiron for 38 years and has held a number of high level positions including managing director, president and vice chairman before becoming chairman in 1988.
 Takiron is a diversified company with more than 1,200 employees and more than $450 million in sales. Its businesses include the manufacture of building, flooring, industrial, agricultural and civil engineering materials, as well as water disposal systems, etc.
 Mannington Mills, Inc., is one of the largest flooring manufacturers in the country with more than 3,000 employees in the United States and Canada. Mannington is the only floor covering manufacturer with a full product line including carpet, resilient, wood and tile.
 /delval/
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 /CONTACT: Dava Guerin of Weightman Public Relations, 215-561-6100, or, home, 215-635-5985, for Mannington/ CO: Mannington Resilient Floors; Takiron Co., LTD. ST: New Jersey IN: SU: JVN


MK-JS -- PH023 -- 6171 02/03/92 12:00 EST
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Date:Feb 3, 1992
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