A Japanese rubber and plastics company plans to reopen the former Sandusky Ltd. plant in Sandusky, Ohio, next year to expand its interior car material offerings in North America.
Okamoto Industries Inc., based in Tokyo, is forming a subsidiary, Okamoto Sandusky Manufacturing LLC, that will start production in August 2008, according to an Okamoto news release. The operation will employ 120.
The company's U.S. subsidiary in Stamford, Conn., declined to comment.
Sandusky Ltd.'s parent, SAI Holdings Inc., filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Toledo, Ohio, in November. At that time, the company announced plans to close its Sandusky plant and consolidate at its Butner, N.C., headquarters.
The Sandusky facility was shuttered in December. The Butner facility downsized in March, after it lost some business from Lear Corp. On June 26, most the assets of SAI's subsidiary in Butner, Athol Manufacturing, were sold.
On July 6, the bankruptcy court announced that Sandusky Acquisition Holdings LLC, an entity with the same address as Okamoto USA in Stamford, had acquired the Sandusky plant.
Okamoto makes automotive interior materials in Japan. It has been in business since 1950 and supplies companies such as Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Isuzu and Subaru. It also makes seat material for Japanese motorcycle manufacturers that include Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki.
Okamoto also makes condoms and heat pads.
SAI made cast PVC and extruded thermoplastic polyolefin films for use on automotive interior parts. It also made vinyl skins for trucks and buses.