PennTecQ celebrates 25 years in America

STORY AND PHOTOS by PHILLIP A. RAU • Record Argus • 7/19/2013


3p1_previewHEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP — After 25 years in America, PennTecQ President Bob Nakatani has seen both good times and uncertain; financial unrest and his company’s dramatic expansion.

Thursday, as the manufacturer of automotive components celebrated its 25th anniversary, Nakatani called its very formation a gamble made by a young, brash businessman.

“Perhaps this was more a foolish or rash move on my part; opening a new plant in the U.S. sounds impressive,” he said. “But in the beginning, we … were in a pretty dire condition. But I was young then. I still had plenty of hair on my head.”

For Nakatani, whose business is manufacturing automotive parts with a kind of precision and reliability that approaches medical-grade quality control, the gamble hasn’t proven to be simple or easy.

“There have been times of celebration and times when I just wanted to cry,” he said.

Nakatani came to America in 1988 to build PennTecQ.

Quality Manager Vicki Coxson, who is one of only five people at the company with 24 years of service, can still remember walking into the company’s current home for the first time, in 1991.

“I remember looking around, thinking to myself, ‘Will we ever fill […]