Automotive supplier Vuteq USA Inc., a subsidiary of Japan's Vuteq Corp., plans to invest $60 million to open an injection molding facility in Huntsville, Ala. The facility will serve the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. Inc. (MTMUS) auto assembly plant.
The project is expected to create about 200 jobs through 2021, according to an Aug. 21 news release from Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.
Construction work at the site, which is located just outside of the 2,500-acre MTMUS campus, is scheduled for October and should be completed in September 2020.
Vuteq USA will mold interior and exterior parts and various subassemblies for Mazda and Toyota at the shared assembly plant in Huntsville. A production launch is targeted for 2021, following initial production trials of equipment, molds and secondary systems.
"Vuteq USA Inc. is very pleased and excited to be opening our next plant in Alabama," Kazumasa Watanabe, president of the U.S. subsidiary, said in a statement. "Our company is thankful for the support provided by the city of Huntsville and state of Alabama as we begin a new chapter."
Globally, Vuteq employs 13,000. It has supplied Toyota with various auto parts such as interior trim, door trim and cockpit assemblies since 1965.
The company joins a growing cluster of Tier 1 suppliers that have announced plans to set up operations in and around Huntsville in order to serve MTMUS, the joint venture company formed in 2018 by Mazda and Toyota. The two Japanese automakers are investing $1.6 billion in its auto assembly plant that is expected to employ about 4,000 workers and produce up to 300,000 vehicles annually. Construction on the site is underway, with vehicle production scheduled to start in 2021.
So far, five suppliers — including Vuteq — have announced big investment plans to set up operations and support the Mazda Toyota assembly operation in Huntsville, the governor's office said in the release.
In May, Japanese auto parts supplier DaikyoNishikawa Corp. said it was opening its first U.S. plant on the site of the MTMUS operation. The company will produce large plastic parts such as bumpers and instrument panels for the two automakers. The project represents an investment of about $110 million and is expected to create 380 jobs.
Prior to that announcement, another supplier — this time, Japan's Toyota Boshoku Corp. — said it was investing $50 million to open a manufacturing plant in Athens, Ala., about 30 miles west of Huntsville, to produce seat systems for vehicles built at MTMUS.