A Nisshinbo technician tests the company's brake products on the road.

In what seems to be a mounting trend, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has announced yet another Japanese auto supplier expansion that will net 100 new jobs for Georgia. 

And once again, the company is a more than two-decade corporate citizen of the state.  

Brake pad maker Nisshinbo Automotive Manufacturing Inc. is spending $72 million to expand a factory in Covington, east of Atlanta. The company says its pads, also known as brake shoes, are better for the environment than competitors. 

Environmental concerns have been key for Japanese investors of late, with multiple companies having flocked to an industrial park in Griffin offering a sylvan setting and buildings and landscapes designed to mitigate negative impacts. 

Nisshinbo’s announcement comes on the heels of building products supplier Nichiha’s August commitment to invest $120 million and hire 74 new workers, doubling down on its initial investment 20 years earlier. 

Nisshinbo celebrated its 20th anniversary in Covington last October. NAMI CEO Shigeru Matsuki said the Tokyo-based company has been happy with its Newton County operation. 

“We hope to grow here with the people of Covington for the next  20 years and beyond,” Mr. Matsuki said in a release. 

The company’s pledge to expand also comes ahead of the Southern Automotive Conference that will come to Atlanta in early October, which will have international pavilions dedicated to Japan along with Canada and the United Kingdom

More than 500 Japanese affiliated companies employ some 30,000 workers in Georgia. 

The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Joseph Huntemann, who speaks Japanese, worked as project manager on the Nisshinbo investment. The state has had an office in Tokyo for more than 40 years. State leaders including GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson visited Nisshinbo on a Georgia trade mission to the country last year.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...