Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Lacks Enterprises Inc. has formed a joint venture with Doral, Fla.-based Grupo Guerra, called GL Automotive LLC, to produce exterior components for Toyota Motor North America in San Antonio, Texas.
GL Automotive began production operations in October, with initial Toyota vehicle components, Lacks told Plastics News in an emailed statement. The venture will begin full production by summer 2022.
The new 80,000-square-foot facility, located within a mile of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas Inc.'s assembly plant, currently has about 25 employees, a Nov. 15 news release said.
"GL Automotive will initially supply exterior components for the 2022 Toyota Tundra pickup and for the 2023 Toyota Sequoia sport utility vehicle," the release said.
Lacks declined to share the cost of the investment, which includes robotic automated assembly equipment "for Toyota vehicle volumes."
"We are prepared to grow our manufacturing footprint in San Antonio as the business opportunity increases," the statement said.
"We're excited to launch the joint venture to support Toyota, which has been a key strategic customer for both Lacks Enterprises and Guerra," Kurt V. Lacks, director of business development at Lacks Enterprises, said in the release "The JV strengthens our technical expertise and our ability to provide best-in-class components and systems to our customers."
Lacks added that the venture does not have an exclusive contract with Toyota.
"We expect to grow GL Automotive in terms of the number of employees, the amount of business we do with Toyota, and other automakers," Christian Guerra, vice president of operations at Avanzar Interior Technologies, who leads the new venture, said in the release. Guerra is co-owner and general manager of GL Automotive.
Also a Tier 1 supplier to Toyota, Avanzar employs more than 1,300 people in San Antonio and Querétaro, Mexico.
Lacks, which produces decor trim component finish solutions for the automotive industry, has about 3,000 employees at facilities in Michigan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and South Korea.