Injection molder Tasus Corp. is wrapping up negotiations for a $6 million plant near Austin, Texas, to supply the auto industry in the southern United States and northern Mexico.
Within five years, the company expects to invest $13 million in the facility, which eventually will employ about 100, said President Melanie Hart. The Austin plant will join Tasus' first U.S. plant in Bloomington, Ind.
The company is a subsidiary of Tsuchiya Co. Ltd. of Nagoya, Japan, and is a direct supplier to Toyota Motor Corp. facilities in North America as well as large Tier 1 suppliers in the region.
``Tasus Bloomington is beyond capacity now,'' Hart said.
Tasus produces a variety of functional components including under-the-hood fluid reservoirs, lighting housings and lenses and audio speakers. The firm has gone after contracts for high- quality and specialized assembly products. The Bloomington plant includes ultrasonic, hot-plate and vibration welding, insert molding, computer-aided design and extensive use of robotics.
``Our plastics are all over the car, but the one common theme is the value-added capabilities,'' Hart said. ``We've targeted ourselves in areas where there are high demands for engineering and technical production.''
Tasus has 155 employees in Bloomington and injection molding presses with clamping pressure ranging from 150-950 tons. It expects about $22 million in sales this year, up from $18.3 million in 2002 and $17.4 million in 2001. Parent company Tsuchiya posts about $750 million in annual sales.
The new plant will be a little more than a one-hour drive away from Toyota's new truck assembly plant under construction near San Antonio.
Hart expects to sign an agreement for the Austin property within the next month and launch construction by early 2004. Production should begin by late 2004, she said.