Mexico City — Sekisui Plastics USA Inc. has opened a $7 million foam molding plant in north-central Mexico where it makes components for the automotive industry.
The 61,000-square-foot facility, on 6 acres in Valle de Santiago, will make vehicle side impact pads, head rests and trunk spacers as well as packaging for shipping auto components, among others.
In a news release, Sekisui said it will also produce packaging and systems for a variety of industrial and consumer applications using Piocelan, Sekisui's polystyrene/polyolefin hybrid foam resin.
According to Sekisui, the plant has a molding throughput of about 132,000 pounds per month. It came online in July.
The facility in Mexico “puts us in closer proximity to both our current and targeted OEM customers who require just-in-time delivery,” Thomas Pontiff, Sekisui Plastics USA president, said. Sekisui Plastics USA is headquartered in Mount Pleasant, Tenn.
In an Aug. 10 telephone interview, Pontiff said Sekisui may add capacity to produce the Piocelan raw material — moldable hybrid foam beads — at the Mexico complex.
“This could be within two or three years,” he said. “It would be a decent-sized investment.”
Pontiff also is president of the new company, Sekisui Plastics Mexico SA de CV. The complex will employ 80 when full production is reached within a year or two, and includes administrative, customer service and sales operations, Pontiff said.
“In the near future we anticipate having technical service, prototyping, tool manufacturing and raw material production” within the complex, said Alfonso Escobedo, Sekisui Mexico's managing director.
Among the reasons Sekisui chose Valle de Santiago is the municipality's “good, stable workforce,” Escobedo said. In addition, the area has easy access to major highways and customers, he added.
Guanajuato has a large automotive industry cluster, including OEMs and suppliers. General Motors Co., Mazda Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. already have light vehicle assembly plants there, while Toyota Motor Corp. plans to build an assembly plant in the state.
Sekisui Plastics USA's parent company is Tokyo-based Sekisui Plastics Co. Ltd.