Blow molder Yazaki Corp. of Iwata, Japan, will create a U.S. headquarters in Gainesville, Ga., to make multilayer fuel tanks for non-automotive transportation and power equipment.
The company will open the new American Yazaki Corp. in an existing 45,000-square-foot building. The company did not disclose the size of its investment, but said in a Feb. 3 news release that it will begin with 20 employees in late 2010 for co-extrusion blow molding and hopes to add another 10-20 people.
The location, northeast of Atlanta, gives the company good access to customers already in the region, said Nao Yazaki, executive vice president of Yazaki Corp.
The auto industry has used six-layer coextruded tanks for years to meet emissions requirements.
Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is placing similar emissions standards for the fuel tanks on motorcycles, personal watercraft, all-terrain vehicles, lawn tractors and other gasoline-powered equipment, prompting production of multilayer tanks for those industries.
In the Southeast, original equipment manufacturers produce a variety of those marine and land-based vehicles, making the region a prime site for growth as the non-automotive fuel-tank business expands, said Tim Evans, vice president for economic development at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce in Gainesville.
American Yazaki will deliver six-layer tanks to a variety of those manufacturers.
Initially, we considered Georgia because of the proximity to our customers and the outstanding infrastructure for moving our product and people throughout North America, Yazaki said.
American Yazaki and its parent company are not connected to a Japanese auto supplier of the same name, Tokyo-based Yazaki Corp., whose U.S.-based Yazaki North America Inc. makes electronic parts and wire harnesses.
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