KYB Celebrates 50 Years in North America

Celebrating our past, looking to our future


Greenwood, IN, July 8, 2024 – The ‘70’s were turbulent times in North America. The public was struggling with soaring inflation, political upheaval, the energy crisis and high unemployment. Plants closed, jobs went elsewhere, and while some North Americans pushed for greater individual freedoms, others warned about declining moral standards. And though the continent was in turmoil, there were those that could foresee the potential and opportunities for a strong recovery.

In the summer of 1974, KYB introduced a limited line of Macpherson Strut replacement cartridges, Gas-a-Just and Premium Heavy Duty shock absorbers to North America. Relatively unknown in the automotive markets outside of Japan, the high quality, dependable and highly engineered KYB shock absorbers quickly took hold with a cost and quality conscience public. Through strong and exciting sale-making advertising, motivated sales representatives and regional distribution centers in California, Texas, the Midwest and the New England area, KYB soon became a growing force in the North American automotive aftermarket.

Surviving the turbulent ’70s, KYB took full advantage of the economically booming ’80s, building a new 500,000 square foot North American manufacturing plant in Franklin, Indiana just outside of Indianapolis. The Franklin plant has been building OE and aftermarket shocks and struts since 1986. It continues to grow with the addition of a research and development lab, “clean” room for assembling shock valving, and most recently, being honored as the 2019 Industrial Plant of the Year for Waste Water Quality for reducing waste water discharge 40% to the City of Franklin.

The next few decades saw continued expansive growth, with a new office being opened in Addison, Illinois in 1999 and the launch of highly popular MonoMax truck shock just after the Millenium. In 2008, KYB debuted the Strut-Plus complete assembly, helping to set the standard in aftermarket ride control.

2011 saw the opening of a 275,000 square foot distribution center in Greenwood, Indiana, just up the road from the Franklin manufacturing plant. The close proximity of these two locations allowed for quicker development and manufacturing of new applications and product lines as well as faster distribution to customers throughout North America. The Addison, Illinois office was moved to the Greenwood facility in 2014, completing the consolidation of administration, distribution and manufacturing.

KYB Continues to be a top manufacturer and distributor of the highest quality shocks, struts and ride control products available in today’s North American market. Its “Restore or More” philosophy defines its product lines, including the high demand Excel G, designed to restore a vehicle’s originally designed handling and control characteristics, the long-established Gas-a-Just, engineered to increase the performance of cars and trucks, and the aforementioned MonoMax, designed for hard working trucks that haul and tow. KYB’s partnerships with OE manufacturers and focus on providing the completely correct part for each application has made it one of the top ride control companies in North America.

And KYB continues to grow, with monthly announcements of additional applications and fitments, new product releases such as KYB JAOS lift kit applications and a highly anticipated new product line scheduled for release in 2025.

KYB. Celebrating our past. Looking to our future.


Watch the KYB 50th Anniversary Video


KYB celebrates 50 years in North America
KYB President and CEO Masahiro Kawase traveled from Japan to address the KYB America’s employees