Japanese auto interior components supplier Howa Textile Industry Co. plans to add a fourth North American plant to supply local auto assembly.
American Howa Kentucky Inc. aims to spend $13.1 million to build a new facility in Midway, Ky, to make and ship headliners for Camry models produced nearby in Georgetown, Ky., by Toyota Motor Manufacturing.
The plant and new equipment represent a $13.1 million investment and will reach commercial production in July 2017, according to Gary McPeak, plant manager for American Howa's facility in Bowling Green, Ky. The project includes installation of thermoforming equipment, robotics and component-cutting machinery. The operation will attach fabric to a polyurethane foam substrate.
McPeak stated the facility will have 100,000 square feet of space, a 32-foot ceiling and reinforced concrete floor.
“We chose the Midway site due to the commitment from state and local officials and incentives which made Midway the obvious choice,” said Hirosato Nanami, president of American Howa Kentucky, in a news release.
The Midway operation will employ about 54 full time. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has approved a $900,000 tax incentive to support the project. American Howa also qualifies for $300,000 in tax incentives for construction costs and research and electronic equipment through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act.
American Howa now employs 179 in Bowling Green to make dash insulators, sunshades, headliners and other interior systems. That plant has been expanding since it started up in 2007. Howa's other North American operations are in Delaware, Ohio, and Alliston, Ontario. The latter facility was announced early this year when the Ontario government said it would contribute C$1 million (US$760,000) for a new facility to supply interior trim for the Honda Civic beginning in 2016.