Auto interiors supplier Toyota Boshoku Corp. will open a new office in Silicon Valley next month to serve as a research base for automated driving and cockpits for future vehicles.
The Japanese supplier, part of the Toyota supplier group, or “keiretsu,” says it will conduct research into a number of issues, including emotion sensing and driver control technologies.
In a March 24 news release, the company said the center's aim is to develop and create “moving spaces that leave a deep impression on customers worldwide” and determine that kind of auto interior spaces needed for the future.
"The world's leading technologies converge at Silicon Valley, and amid this environment where companies, startups, and universities are advancing development on a wide array of technologies, we intend to grasp the latest trends and implement research activities that will translate into the development of new business," Kimitaka Ando, senior vice president of Toyota Boshoku America, said in a statement.
Ando will oversee the technical center's activities.
The company is a major producer of seats, door panels, carpeting, filters and powertrain components. Toyota Boshoku ranks No. 25 on Automotive News' list of the top global suppliers. For the fiscal year ending in March 31, 2015, net sales totaled $12 billion.
It has in-house injection molding and vacuum forming for door panel production.
Toyota Boshoku also announced March 24 that it is changing the name of two of its U.S. plants and is currently expanding one of those plants.
Automotive Technology Systems LLC of Lawrenceville, Ill., will change its name April 1 to Toyota Boshoku Illinois LLC. Toyota Boshoku has owned the plant, a maker of doors, seats and carpets, since 2008.
The Illinois plant is nearing completing of a 126,000-square-foot expansion to increase production and consolidate logistics. The plant employs 950 working on two shifts.
In Jackson, Tenn., seat plant ARJ Manufacturing LLC will change its name to Toyota Boshoku Tennessee LLC on April 1. The plant first opened as a joint venture between Toyota Boshoku and Johnson Controls Inc., but Toyota Boshoku has owned all of the operation since 2010.
Toyota Boshoku is based in Karita, Japan. The company launched U.S. operations in 2001 and established a North American headquarters in Erlanger, Ky.