Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd. is increasing its production capacity for plastic fuel filler pipes in the U.S. and Japan to meet growing demand for lightweight auto parts.
The Kiyosu, Japan-based company announced June 26 that it will invest 2 billion yen ($19 million) to expand production facilities in Lebanon, Ky., which is part of U.S. manufacturing subsidiary TG Kentucky LLC, and at its Heiwacho Plant near Nagoya, Japan.
Lebanon will see the biggest investment, with about $13.3 million, while the Japan facility will see about a $5.7 million expansion.
The investment will boost the combined production capacity of the two plants to 2 million pipes annually by 2020, about four times the current level.
Other expansions are expected in the future in China, the Czech Republic and other key locations, according to a news release.
Toyoda Gosei says it was the first company to succeed in making the extruded plastic pipes that could replace metal pipes, at about half the weight. The pipes also meet stricter emissions requirement in North America, China and Europe, which will increase demand.