Kobe Steel Ltd. announced that its U.S. subsidiary, Kobelco Aluminum Products & Extrusions Inc. (KPEX) will invest approximately $42 million to increase the production capacity of its plant in Bowling Green, Ky. This investment, which is expected to create about 90 new jobs, will help meet the growing demand for automotive extrusions and fabricated products in the U.S. Plans call for new equipment to go into mass production in the first half of 2020. When the expansion is completed, KPEX will have two melting furnaces and two extrusion presses. Production capacity will increase to 1,000 tons per month, from the current 500 tons per month.

Established in April 2016, KPEX manufactures and sells bumper materials and car frame materials. These aluminum extruded products are increasingly being used in cars. In November 2018, KPEX began integrated production, ranging from melting and casting to the final manufacturing process of fabrication.