Japanese materials trader and supplier Toyota Tsusho Corp. is expanding into Turkey and India, buying a 25 percent stake in a Turkish plastics distribution firm and setting up a compounding plant in India in a joint venture with Japan's Nippon Pigment and India's Motherson Group.
Tsusho, the trading arm of Japanese automotive giant Toyota, invested in Istanbul-based plastics distribution firm Plasmar Inc. to improve its market access in the region, according to a statement from Plasmar.
The Turkish company said the two firms want to expand both in Turkey and in surrounding countries in Africa, southeastern Europe and the Caucasus region.
“With this agreement, Plasmar is planning to maintain and strengthen its market leader position in the domestic market and to reach the target of being an international distribution company taking the competition power advantages of Toyota Tsusho,” Plasmar said.
“Plasmar, in line with sustainable development objectives, will carry out the project plan of ‘opening new markets' particularly in North Africa, the Balkans and the Caucasus region, in the coming period,” it said.
In a Nov. 11 interview, Plasmar shareholder Hakan Ustuntas said Toyota Tsusho, which is based in Nagoya, bought 25 percent of his company.
He said Plasmar is Turkey's largest resin distribution firm, with 37 employees and import volumes of about 300,000 metric tons a year.
The investment in Turkey comes several months after Toyota Tsusho set up a joint venture compounding plant for high-performance plastics near Chennai, India, with two significant partners: Nippon Pigment, which has 15 manufacturing plants throughout Asia, and Noida, India-based Motherson Sumi Systems Ltd., which makes plastic compounds and auto parts.
The companies said in a May statement they were investing a total of 160 million yen ($1.4 million) in the Chennai factory. They did not disclose production capacity but said it would have 30 employees.
“The partners aim to establish a value chain for high-quality, high-performance plastics in India by combining Nippon Pigment's compounds technology and know-how, Motherson Sumi Systems' local business management know-how, and Toyota Tsusho's logistics and sales networks,” Tsusho said.
“In recent years, Japanese, American, and European auto and electronics companies have accelerated the establishment of manufacturing sites in southern India, boosting demand for local procurement of high-performance plastics,” Tsusho said.
Motherson, which is part of Indian conglomerate the Motherson Group, owns 49.5 percent of the joint venture, while Toyota Tsusho owns 31 percent and Nippon Pigment owns 19.5 percent.