25th Anniversary Ceremony
Kawasaki Precision Machinery UK (KPM UK) welcomes International guests to mark 25 years since its acquisition of the Plymouth manufacturing site.
The vast Ernesettle manufacturing plant situated on the banks of the River Tamar, employs nearly 300 staff and was proud to welcome Senior Executives from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.Japan (KHI), including – Mr Katsuya Yamamoto (Managing Executive Office – General Manager, Corporate Planning Division), Mr Yasuhiko Hashimoto (Managing Executive Office, President, Precision Machinery & Robotics Company) and Mr Hidehiko Shimamura ( Executive Officer, General Manager, Precision Machinery, Business Division) amongst other KHI Senior Managers. Other attendees included members of MAKE UK, including CEO Stephen Phipson CBE and Councillor Tudor Evans OBE from Plymouth City Council, plus members from Plymouth Manufacturing Group (PMG), Confederation of British Industry and Department for International Trade.
In 1994 KPM UK was formed as a stand-alone subsidiary of the Kawasaki Precision Machinery Group. The group accounts for 14 per cent of the entire Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) Japanese company, with sites in Japan, USA, India, Korea, China and Plymouth, which is the only manufacturing base for Kawasaki in Europe.
All KPM UK employees were gathered together for a plaque unveiling at the factory and were addressed by Mr Hashimoto. This was then followed by a tree planting ceremony to commemorate the occasion.
Guests were then invited to attend Elliot Terrace for the afternoon, hosted by Plymouth City Council. A welcome speech and presentation on Plymouth was given by Councillor Tudor Evans OBE, followed by a very insightful presentation from Tracey Lee (Chief Executive PCC) about manufacturing in Plymouth and KPM UK’s significant contribution to it, for example that the company contributed £24.8m GVA in 2018 and represents 8% of Plymouth’s entire export.
Lee Crocker, General Manager & Executive Director said ” Today marks an important milestone for our company, we celebrate such occasions as an opportunity to look back and reflect, but our continued success will be focused on how we perform in the future. Today was a great opportunity to demonstrate our company values and technical competences as well as presenting our future strategy.”
Leader of Plymouth City Council Tudor Evans OBE said: “A quarter of a century here in Plymouth, £45 million invested in the site and a company which employs almost 300 skilled workers, I think we can safely say Kawasaki Precision Machinery is one of the key components in our engineering powerhouse.
“But this is a company that has always been about more than work. It is a company that invests in its people and its city. Staff get stuck into a host of community activities, it has one of the most sustainable plants and they value the importantance of looking forward and nurturing talent.
“They are fully fledged part of our Plymouth family and we are enormously proud to have them here.”
Masaki Onishi, Managing Director said “I originally worked for KPM UK 22 years ago, the business has changed significantly over that time, today our business is 5 times larger and operates as truly global company. I am proud to lead KPM UK, as a dynamic and successful company. We have a great team, and I would like to take opportunity to thank all employees, past and present, for their contribution to Kawasaki Precision Machinery UK Ltd.”