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Kawasaki announces restructuring; Lincoln official says no effect here
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Kawasaki announces restructuring; Lincoln official says no effect here

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Kawasaki Heavy Industries has announced plans to restructure the company, but officials at Lincoln's Kawasaki plant say its operations will not be affected.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries on Monday announced a major restructuring initiative that would spin off certain parts of the business into separate divisions, including its rail car manufacturing business and its consumer products division.

The Japanese company said it will reorganize its several business lines into three groups -- land and air transportation systems, motion control and motor vehicles, and energy and marine engineering.

Kawasaki makes a number of products at its North American manufacturing operations based in Lincoln, including rail cars, parts for Boeing airplanes, Jet Skis and all-terrain vehicles.

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Those operations will be reclassified under the larger company's umbrella, but that appears to be the only effect on the local plant.

"We want to emphasize that the corporate restructuring announced by Kawasaki Heavy Industries will have no negative affects on our employees, customers or suppliers," said Jason Hellbusch, director of administration at Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp. in Lincoln.

Hellbusch said the purpose of the restructuring is to give the individual parts of the business more autonomy and increase efficiency.

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"This streamlined structure will allow for a more nimble response to our customers and the changing market while allowing increased opportunity for collaboration on technology with our business partners," he said.

Kawasaki said in a news release that the spinoffs also would likely lead to more collaborations with other companies.

The company, which employs about 2,000 people in Lincoln, said the spinoffs will take place in October of next year.

Kawasaki has no plans to shutter rail car division

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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