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ROCKWELL OPENS NEW PLANT AS COMMITMENT TO AUTOMOTIVE CUSTOMERS CONTINUES

ROCKWELL OPENS NEW PLANT AS COMMITMENT TO AUTOMOTIVE CUSTOMERS CONTINUES
 HOPKINSVILLE, Ky., June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Rockwell International Suspension Systems Company (RISSC), a major manufacturer of torsion bars, stabilizer bars, coil springs and suspension systems for automobiles and light trucks, Thursday officially launched its new torsion bar production facility here that strengthens the company's ability to serve both existing customers in North America and new customers located in the mid-Central United States.
 The 54,000-square-foot plant houses the latest in torsion bar heat treating and processing equipment, and is home to a team of highly trained production, engineering and maintenance associates.
 RISSC is a joint venture of Rockwell International Corporation (NYSE: ROK) and Mitsubishi Steel Manufacturing Company of Japan, and is headquartered at Rockwell Automotive's operation in Troy, Mich.
 At ceremonies to mark the official opening of the facility, Ronald L. Roudebush, president of Rockwell Automotive, said, "The investments we've made in plant, equipment and human resources, coupled with the tremendous support of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Christian County, and the city of Hopkinsville, reflect our serious commitment to our customers and to the growth we see ahead in North American vehicle manufacturing."
 Toshikiyo Kuwazawa, managing director-Spring Division, Mitsubishi Steel Manufacturing Company Limited, expressed confidence in the future of the plant and its employees, stating, "We know of the many opportunities for growth here, and believe that with the employees' dedication and hard work, those opportunities will be realized."
 In addition to Rockwell and Mitsubishi executives and employees, a number of state and local officials attended the ceremony, including Kentucky state Reps. Jim Bruce, Ramsey Morris, Pat McCuiston; Hopkinsville's mayor, Wally Bryan; Judge Executive of Christian County, Frank M. Gary; director of Economic Development, Mike Baker; and chairman of the Economic Development Council, Ben Fletcher.
 Located in Southwest Kentucky approximately 60 miles northwest of Nashville, Hopkinsville is well-situated to serve vehicle manufacturers in the Midwest and mid-Central states.
 Employees at the new plant have undergone intensive training, including four weeks in Japan at Mitsubishi's facilities, learning their production techniques.
 J. Douglas Lamb, president, RISSC, explained that the concerted emphasis on training is aimed at "developing a high-performance organization and building a strong bond of teamwork. We have only two job descriptions in the plant and refer to all employees as 'associates' to underscore participation, cooperation and teamwork.
 "We took the unusual step of sending new employees to Japan so they could gain firsthand experience in operating the new equipment and become familiar with Japanese methods, as practiced by our partner Mitsubishi. We have no doubt that this investment will help yield the finest torsion bars made in North America, if not the world."
 Rockwell International is a multi-industry company applying advanced technology to a wide range of products in its electronics, aerospace, automotive and graphics businesses.
 -0- 6/12/92
 /CONTACT: R.H. Pacini of Rockwell Automotive, 313-435-1752/
 (ROK) CO: Rockwell International Suspension Systems Company ST: Kentucky IN: AUT SU:


ML -- DE002 -- 9570 06/12/92 09:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 12, 1992
Words:498
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