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MOLINE, IL-Transaxle Manufacturing of America Corp., a joint venture of John Deere & Co and two suppliers to manufacture transaxles for tractors and utility vehicles, has picked a 40-acre site at the Waterford Business Industrial Park in Rock Hill, SC for its $35-million headquarters and manufacturing facility. Deere & Co.’s two partners are Yanmar Diesel Engine Co., and Kanzaki Kokyukoki Manufacturing Co.

Construction will begin in September with production scheduled to begin in early 2003. The plant will employ about 150 people when it reaches fullproduction. M. B. Kahn Construction Co. is the general contractor. A transaxle is a unit that consists of a combination transmission and axles used in small tractors and utility vehicles.

The new plant will manufacture transaxles initially for John DeereGator(R) utility vehicles and compact utility tractors.

“By partnering with a long-term major supplier like Yanmar/Kanzaki, John Deere is able to strengthen and move its 30-year relationship to a newlevel to handle the challenges of today’s business environment,” says Steve Johnson, who was named president of the new company.

Yanmar/Kanzaki currently supplies transaxles to John Deere from its overseas plants.

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