Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd. plans to expand its facility in Mexico with a $35.5 million investment in response to increased automotive demand in North America.
The firm said in an Aug. 25 news release that its subsidiary, Toyoda Gosei Automotive Sealing Mexico S.A. de C.V. in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, will increase weatherstrip production about 50 percent by 2020.
When the expansion is complete, Toyoda Gosei projects its work force will increase by 540. Employment currently sits at 910 as of March 31, and the company's sales likely will grow to $124 million annually, up from $60 million, by 2020.
“The expansion is really just to help handle orders from our customers in Mexico who are increasing production,” a spokeswoman said. “There have been a lot of increases from the OEMs which has led to us needing to expand.”
In addition to adding capacity, the firm has acquired land adjacent to the building to add about 20 percent — or 82,000 square feet — to its current footprint, bringing the building to 523,100 square feet by 2020. Toyoda Gosei said this addition will be used to add trial manufacturing equipment to the facility, improving the pre-production processes. It also will provide additional team member training.
The San Luis Potosí plant produces opening trim weatherstrips, door weatherstrips and glass runs, among other weatherstrips, using both EPDM rubber and thermoplastic vulcanizate. The spokeswoman said the expansion will help serve Toyota, Ford and Honda, with more than half of the new production being exported to the U.S. market. New equipment will be installed at the site in phases as business dictates.
Construction is projected to be finished by November, the spokeswoman said. The trial manufacturing center will build prototypes, improve pre-production and help train new employees.
This is the second weatherstrip-related expansion the firm has made in the last four months. Toyoda Gosei revealed plans to establish a new facility in Bawal, India, projected to be operational in March 2017.
The new plant represents an $8.2 million investment, which includes constructing a 26,250-square-foot building, populating it with equipment and a 65,600-square-foot plot of land. The factory will produce air bags and rubber weatherstrips for Toyota, Honda and Maruti—a subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corp.
It has been an active time for Toyoda Gosei in Mexico, where part of its goal is to triple its sales in the country by 2020. The spokeswoman said the firm reported about $98.4 million in Mexican sales for fiscal year 2015.
Recently, Toyoda Gosei opened a facility in Irapuato, Mexico. The plant represents a $53.2 million investment and will focus on the company's interior/exterior business such as radiator grilles, console boxes and plastic parts in addition to its functional components business.
The firm said production of plated products is scheduled to start in the summer of 2017. It projects $110 million in sales for fiscal 2020, and the plant employs about 135. The building is nearly 400,000 square feet and rests on a 1.65 million-square-foot plot of land.
Toyoda Gosei operates two facilities in Matamoros City, Mexico—one for safety systems and the other for fuel components. Manufacturing for all four of the firm's product lines are localized in Mexico.
Headquartered in Kiysou, Japan, Toyoda Gosei produces rubber and plastic automotive parts with 100 plants and offices in 18 countries.