Gov. Greg Abbott cut the ribbon on Friday to officially open and welcome Kubota Tractor Corp.’s new North American headquarters in Grapevine.
Abbott was joined by representatives of the Japanese corporation, the city of Grapevine and other state officials for the official debut of Kubota’s $50 million facility north of Grapevine Mills Mall.
Kubota’s decision to move its North American headquarters from Torrance, California, to Grapevine was the first relocation announcement of Abbott’s administration. Abbott announced Kubota’s move in May 2015 along with an offer of $3.8 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund.
The fund that has been critical to luring business from other states to Texas could be in jeopardy because the Texas House budget passed by lawmakers on Thursday shifts $43 million from the controversial economic development program to programs to care for disabled children and those in foster care.
Abbott did not comment on the House move but pointed to Kubota as an example of the importance of bring companies to Texas to add new jobs and aid growth.
“We have been very successful at bringing businesses from other states to Texas, especially California,” Abbott said. “We are proud that job-creating industry leaders like Kubota are calling Texas home, and thank them for their confidence in the Lone Star State.”
Abbott also noted that Texas’ economy is larger than the economies of Canada, Australia and even Russia.
“That makes me more powerful than Putin,” he said.
Company officials said the move to Grapevine is Kubota’s most significant in its 45 years of operation in the United States. The company, which opened its first American plant in 1972 in Torrance, produces a full line of its iconic orange tractors, construction and lawn and garden equipment, farm implements and utility vehicles.
“As a new employer to the area, our hope is to continue to attract talent from the local community with this open environment, state-of-the-art workplace and continue our long-term growth strategy to strengthen the Kubota brand in the U.S., said Masato Yoshikawa, CEO and president of Kubota Tractor Corp.
The firm’s three-story, environmentally-friendly office building contains 193,000 square feet and includes a research and development center as well as the North American headquarters of Kubota Tractor and Kubota Credit Corp.
Kubota Tractor is the U.S. marketer and distributor of Kubota-engineered and manufactured products. Kubota already has a presence in the area via Zimmerer Kobota & Equipment, which is based in Fort Worth and has locations in Cleburne, Decatur, Denton and Gainesville.
About 275 employees work at the new headquarters, including new hires and those relocated from California. The build was designed to accommodate up to 600 employees, company officials said.