Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan To celebrate the grand opening of the Mitsubishi Electric US, INC. Cooling & Heating Division, CEO and President, US, Katsuya Takamiya, left, and CEO and President of Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Kenichiro Yamanishi, plant a cherry tree in Suwanee on Wednesday. The location will house all the divisions various segments -- from massive warehouse space and offices to product testing center.
SUWANEE -- In the 21 years since Mitsubishi Electric Heating and Cooling opened its headquarters in Gwinett, the price of gasoline has tripled. The number of employees has grown exponentially, from 15 to about 200.
The profits, though, those have grown a staggering 2,158 percent, an official said Wednesday as the company celebrated a new headquarters, a 550,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility on Satellite Boulevard.
With Mitsubishi Electric Corps. President and CEO Kenichiro Yamanishi traveling from Japan to celebrate the new venture, officials not only cut a ribbon on the new building, but they followed a Japanese tradition and planted a cherry tree on the lawn.
"As our tree grows, we hope our business grows," said Bud Nardello, the vice president of sales for the cooling and heating division.
The move, which consolidates several offices in the Suwanee area, comes in conjunction with recent expansions to HVAC plants in Memphis, Tenn. and Pittsburgh, Penn. as well as a new production facility in Mexico. The expansion is expected to add 100 new employees to the Suwanee office in the next three years.
"We're investing in Georgia so we can be more competitive and quicker to market," Yamanishi said. "This warehouse will hold literally tons of product ready to ship anywhere in the Americas. Our engineering center will host a wide depth of talent. Products designed and stored here will not only serve the U.S. market but the global market as well."
At the new headquarters, the company known for its efficient HVAC product took special care to create as green a building as possible. The workspaces were also designed to promote collaboration and team work, with only one office in the entire building.
Behind the cubicle work areas, a fitness center and more for the employees is a monstrous 500,000-square-foot warehouse -- five football fields long -- for the housing and shipping of products.
Gov. Nathan Deal applauded the business decision, although he did not attend Wednesday's event.
"Georgia offers numerous resources and assets that consistently attract international companies and broaden our role in the global business community," Deal said in a statement. "Mitsubishi Electric has found in Georgia and Gwinnett County a strategically advantageous location for its growth and success. I'm committed to helping Georgia's job creators prosper and thrive."