Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., buoyed by large-tonnage press sales to two automakers, doubled its orders for injection molding machines in 1997.
Minoru Shibata, executive vice president of Mitsubishi's U.S. unit, MHI Injection Molding Machinery Inc., confirmed a report in Japan's Chemical Industry Daily newspaper. That report said Mitsubishi racked up orders totaling 6 billion yen in 1997 from North American customers. In 1996, the U.S. unit had sales of 3 billion yen, mostly from small and midsized machines.
The numbers translate into $50 million in 1997 and $28 million in 1996. The dollar amounts take into account currency fluctuations, as the yen in 1997 lost about 10 percent of its value against the dollar from the earlier year.
Mitsubishi picked up two major automotive orders last year, Shibata said. The company sold three 3,000-ton injection presses to Toyota Motor Corp.'s factory in Toronto, Shibata said.
The other big order last year was for five 4,000-ton Mitsubishi presses at Decoma International Inc.'s new bumper fascia molding factory in Northwood, Ohio. The Decoma plant is operating as Norplas Industries Inc. The injection press purchase was part of Decoma's $70 million investment in construction and equipment costs.
In early 1997, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries joined with Mitsubishi Corp. to become majority owner of MHI Injection Molding Machinery. The U.S. unit continues to use the same offices and employs the same staff as its predecessor, MC Machinery Systems Inc.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is based in Tokyo.