NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.) first opened its plant in Sissonville in 1995 to make oxygen sensors. It was one of the first Japanese companies introduced to West Virginia by Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
The relationship has grown considerably since then.
In 2001, NGK opened a distribution center nearby. In 2006, the company expanded that center.
In 2008, NGK put $15 million into an expansion of the Sissonville plant and began producing spark plugs there.
In 2010, the company announced that it would stop production of spark plugs in Irvine, Calif., move equipment to West Virginia, and consolidate its manufacture of spark plugs at Sissonville.
That decision was expected to add 40 to 50 jobs at the West Virginia facility, which at the time had almost 300 employees.
On Dec. 17, NGK announced that it will begin construction in February of an 11,000-square-foot expansion of its Sissonville facility so it can start making M12 sparkplugs and ZFAS oxygen sensors for vehicles.
These are cutting-edge products.