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Japanese Automotive Sector Grows In Indiana

Indiana Business Research Center


Japan's largest steel company, Nippon Steel, will spend $50 million and create 70 jobs at a new plant to produce wiring for cars in Shelbyville.

When it opens next year, it'll join an already large Japanese automotive sector in the state -- which houses more Japanese businesses than anywhere else in the country.


Japan is also Indiana’s biggest foreign investor, supporting almost 54,000 jobs. Many are in manufacturing.

The industry covers nearly three-quarters of all overseas investment in Indiana. That’s double the national rate, and Tim Slaper of the Indiana Business Research Center says it's no coincidence.


"If you were thinking about starting a cheese manufacturing entity, you wouldn't move to Silicon Valley -- you would move to Vermont, right?" he says. "Because, you know, there are other people there that have similar sorts of interests and similar sorts of knowledge bases and all."


He says Indiana is ideal for a so-called cluster from Japan's automotive industry, since the state is smack in the middle of the Midwest supply chain.

And he says that investment has snowballed over time, though the latest data is a few years old. New numbers are due out in August.

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