North American Lighting Inc. will spend $22 million to build a new factory in Muscle Shoals, Ala., to expand production while also giving it greater access to customers in the South.
Construction of the Alabama plant will begin in 2006, with manufacturing starting in 2007. By 2010, the Paris-based company expects to have production capacity of 1.8 million taillights annually from the site.
The facility will include molding and assembly with more than 400 employees. An NAL spokesman said full details for the plant still are under consideration but will be announced once construction begins.
North American Lighting, a subsidiary of Koito Manufacturing Co. Ltd. of Tokyo, now has three factories in southern Illinois and a technical center in Farmington Hills, Mich. Its current manufacturing facilities are near capacity, though, turning out 2 million headlights and 3 million taillamps annually.
The expansion to Alabama will provide both more production power and better access to the new auto assembly growth area.
``We believe the southern automotive corridor is the best place for NAL to expand, in concert with our growing customer base in that part of the country,'' President and Chief Operating Officer Daniel Robusto said in a Dec. 6 news release.
Toyota Motor Corp., NAL's biggest customer, is building a new truck assembly plant in San Antonio. Other North American Lighting customers in the south include Honda Motor Co. Ltd., with light-truck assembly in Lincoln, Ala., and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. with car and truck manufacturing in Canton, Miss.