Japanese auto supplier Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd. is expanding its plastic processing base in North America, with construction under way for an injection molding plant in Palmerston, Ontario.
Total cost of the project is estimated at about $20 million.
The company has one contract in hand to produce interior and exterior trim for an unspecified 2003 model vehicle and will use the location to chase more contracts from automakers in the region, according to Todd Huber, vice president of sales for TG North America Corp., the Troy, Mich.-based arm of Toyoda Gosei.
Construction of the 150,000-square-foot building should wrap up in May, with the company bringing in enough equipment for a test launch of production in September.
Full ramp-up is set for December, Huber said, with an estimated 100 employees and about 24 presses with clamping forces of 25-2,200 tons.
Toyoda Gosei has two other injection molding facilities in North America, in Perryville, Mo., and Lebanon, Ky.
In 2000, the company bought the former Eagle-Picher Industries Inc. automotive fluid systems business, with thermoplastic tube-production facilities in Brighton, Mich., and Market Harborough, England.
Toyoda Gosei is a global producer of rubber seals, weatherstripping and thermoplastic trim, with corporate headquarters in Nagoya, Japan.
About 75 percent of its $2.7 billion in annual sales is in Asia, with 25 percent in North America. TG North America listed more than $500 million worth of sales last year.
Although the company historically is linked to Japanese automakers, it wants to expand its production base to a variety of firms, Huber said. The Palmerston plant will focus on a cross-section of auto plants in southern Ontario.