Japanese suppliers in Mexico and Brazil: speeding up plant construction

Akebono Brake, Asahi Glass, Koito, Nippon Steel, Tachi-S, and Denso



Thailand Map The auto market in Mexico grew rapidly with an increase of 10.4% y/y to 906K units in 2011. It is expected that the market volume will reach one million units again within a few years. The production volume for 2011 was 2.56 million units; showing that the majority of the production was exported. Expected growth for both export and in-country demands are driving Japanese OEMs to enhance their production capacities.

 Nissan's two existing plants are already working in their full production capacities (annual production capacity of 600K units). Its production result for 2011 was 607K units. Currently, a third plant with an annual production capacity of 175K units is under construction in Aguascalientes. The operation is planned to begin in late 2013. Honda produces 60K CRVs annually at its existing plant, but plans to add 200K units with the construction of its second plant in Guanajuato. The plant will begin production of compact cars in the spring of 2014. Mazda is building a new plant with an annual production volume of 140K units in Guanajuato State, with a plan to start operation within FY2013.

 In response to these activities by the OEMs, Japanese suppliers are actively constructing new plants and expanding their existing plants in the Mexican Plateau including Guanajuato, Aguascalientes, and San Luis Potosi.

 The Brazilian auto market grew 3.4% y/y to 3,633K units in 2011, which was ranked at number four in the world after China, the U.S., and Japan. The market is expected to show further growth with the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games hosted by Brazil. Japanese OEMs, like Toyota and Nissan, are constructing new plants and launching strategic cars for emerging countries.

 Toyota will start production of its strategic compact car, the Etios, from September 2012 at its new third production plant in Sorocaba, Sao Paulo with an annual production capacity of 70K units. A new engine production plant will begin production in 2015. Nissan builds cars in the Renault-Nissan Alliance plant, but will construct a new, solely owned plant set to begin production earlier than the originally planned first half of 2014.

 In response, Japanese suppliers are making their entries into the Brazilian market or expanding their production capacities and business areas. Because Toyota and Nissan only have a small share in the Brazilian market, some suppliers are aiming at beginning transactions with European OEMs.

 The following will report on the activities of Japanese suppliers in Mexico and Brazil (the report includes activities up to the end of August 2012 in the span of eight months).

Related Reports: Japanese suppliers

Central & Southwestern China (Aug. 2012), Southern China - Guangdong Province (Aug. 2012),

Eastern China (Jul. 2012), Northern and Northeastern China (Jul. 2012),

US (Aug. 2012), Europe (Dec. 2011), ASEAN (Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia) (Jul. 2012),

Thailand (1) (Jul. 2012)/(2) (Jul. 2012), India (Mar. 2012)

Mexico - Construction of production sites: Akebono Brake, Imasen Electric Industrial,Koito,Keihin, Nippon Steel, and Maruichi Steel Tube

Akebono Brake establishes new company to produce and sell brakes

 In April 2012, Akebono Brake established Akebono Brake Mexico S.A. de C.V in Guanajuato to start local production of the parts which it is now exporting from the U.S. and Japan. The subsidiary will be capitalized at 400 million JPY (100% invested by the Akebono Brake group). By switching to local production, it will be able to cope with production capacity enhancements and launches by Japanese, American, and European OEMs. Its production is set to begin in June 2013. The plant will initially produce drum brakes with plans to add disk brakes. The estimated revenue for FY2015 is 4.5 billion JPY.

Ashimori Industry establishes a subsidiary in Mexico. Operations to start between summer and fall of 2013

 In February 2012, Ashimori established its Mexican subsidiary, Ashimori Mexicana S.A. de C.V., in Guanajuato State and plans to begin production and sales of seatbelts, airbags, and interior parts between the summer and the fall of 2013. The aim is to increase orders from automakers in the Americas. This is the fourth overseas site Ashimori constructed after China, Thailand, and India.

Imasen Electric Industrial to build plant for seat components; first production site to be built in Latin America

 In August 2012, Imasen Electric Industrial established its subsidiary in Irapuato, Guanajuato. The construction of the plant will start by the end of 2012, and the productions of seat and reclining adjuster components are planned to begin in January 2014. Imasen will spend about 1.4 billion JPY for this project. A portion of the production process currently done at the Ohio plant will be transferred to the Mexico plant. The components partially assembled in Mexico will then be sent to Ohio to complete the assembly, and then supplied to Japanese automakers in North America. The new workflow should reduce cost and in turn, improve profits for the business in North America. Its final goal is to produce components at the Mexico plant alone to cope with business expansions in Latin American regions.

F-Tech establishes new suspension component plant; to start productions in 2014

 In July 2012, F-Tech announced its plan to establish a new production and sales subsidiary, F&P MFG.DE MEXICO S.A. DE C.V., at CIG (Centro Industrial Guanajuato) industrial center in Irapuato, Guanajuato. The capital funding is 16 million dollars (approximately 1.3 billion JPY) and the total investment for this project is approximately 25 million dollars (two billion JPY). The plant will produce components around the drivers' footing such as sub-frames and pedals starting in July 2014. The components will be supplied to Japanese and U.S./European OEMs. The plant will have an annual production capacity for 200-250K vehicles. Provided that the plant is in full operation, the projected revenue for FY2018 is about 79 million dollars (approximately 6.3 billion JPY).

Okawa Screw Manufacturing first Mexican plant to start operations by fall of 2013; parts for HVs and electrical vehicles to be manufactured in the future

 Okawa Screw Manufacturing will build a new plant in Irapuato, Guanajuato. It will spend about one billion JPY for this project. The plant is set to complete and start operations by the fall of 2013. It will manufacture two million brake hose fittings and two million stud bolts monthly to be shipped to Japanese OEMs. The manufacturer plans to produce parts for HVs and electric vehicles utilizing cold forging technology, its field of expertise. The new site will also serve as the supply location for the region, with Brazil as a potential market in the future.

Kitagawa Iron Works/Sumikin Bussan establishes a subsidiary for producing iron casting parts; to begin production in 2013

 In February 2012, Kitagawa Iron Works established a subsidiary for producing iron casting parts with Sumikin Bussan called KITAGAWA MEXICO S.A. de C.V in Aguascalientes. The new company will be capitalized at two billion JPY, which will be owned 75 percent by Kitagawa and 25 percent by Sumikin. The companies will spend 6.5 billion JPY for this project. It is scheduled to inaugurate operations in April 2013, starting with only the casting process in the initial stage. Until the production of cast iron products starts in 2015, casting parts will be imported to Mexico from Japan and Thailand by Kitagawa. Expected sales from the transactions with the Japanese OEMs for 2015 are three billion JPY.

Keihin establishes its first plant in Mexico; to begin production in September 2013

 In February 2012, Keihin established KEIHIN DE MEXICO S.A.DE C.V. in San Luis Potosi. The subsidiary will be capitalized at 500 million Mexican pesos (about 2.67 billion JPY). 2.7 billion JPY will be spent on this project. A mass production will start in September 2013. To cope with the operations of Honda's new automobile plant in Mexico, its major client, in 2014, productions with high labor content, such as throttle bodies, will be done here.

Koito to establish a new production site for lighting products

 In July 2012, Koito announced that it will set up a new site in the Las Colinas Industrial Park in San Louis Potosi this November. The name of the new company has not been made public yet. Total investment cost is about three billion JPY. The plant will be built on about 100,000 square meters of land. After its production commences in September 2014, the plant will turn out one million headlamps and rear combination lamps per year, respectively. With the new site, the parts maker will be able to cope with the growing auto market in Mexico. Working with its U.S. subsidiary, North American Lighting, Inc. (NAL), Koito aims to improve its production efficiency by compensating for each other and receiving more orders, as well as enhancing its profitability as a group.

G-TEKT/H-One establish new company to produce auto body frame components. Plant to start operation in January 2014

 In March 2012, G-TEKT Corp. and H-ONE Co., Ltd. established their first company in Mexico, G-One Auto Parts De Mexico, S.A. De C.V., in Celaya, Guanajuato. The new company was capitalized at around 20 million dollars (around 1.5 billion JPY) with both companies owning half of the share. The operation will start in January 2014, providing auto body frame components to a new Honda plat nearby (operations to begin in February 2014). Its annual production capacity is 200K units. G-TEKT will be responsible for the upper part of the bodies and H-One will be in charge of underbodies. Existing machineries in the U.S. and Japan, with the exception of press machines, will be utilized. The joint business allowed the two manufacturers to cut back on their investment while fulfilling the OEMs' request to reduce production costs. Projected revenue for FY2015 is 66 million dollars (approximately five billion JPY), expecting to turn a single-year profit.

Shinkosya establishes a plating plant as its first overseas site

 Four companies -Shinkosya, Asante Sana, a local company, and two other Japanese companies- established a joint venture, Asante Sana Automotives, in Aguascalientes. The company will start operations at a plating plant (the building will be leased) providing plating to auto plastic parts in early 2013. The joint venture will provide services to Japanese suppliers. Shinkosya will also establish a wholly owned Mexican company called Shinkosya de Mexico in around October 2012 in perpetration of constructing its own plant in Mexico.

Nippon Steel to establish joint venture for steel tubes used for cars

 In August 2012, Nippon Steel announced it will establish a joint venture for producing steel tubes used for cars with Sumitomo Pipe & Tube, Sumitomo Corp., and Metal One called NIPPON STEEL PIPE MEXICO, S.A. DE C.V. in Guanajuato. The new company will be capitalized at around 24 million dollars (around 1.9 billion JPY). It will construct a new plant with a monthly production capacity of 20 million tons, planned to start operations from June 2013. Around 39 million dollars (around 3,080 million JPY) will be spent for this project. The alliance was formed based on the foresight that the demand for middle-to-high grade steel pipe will grow with the entries of Japanese automakers into the market in Mexico. Most of the materials used will be procured locally (including North America), but some will be imported from Japan.

Sumikin Bussan acquires headrest manufacturer in addition to its establishment of two new companies

 In January 2012, Sumikin Bussan announced its acquisition of a Mexican supplier, Productos Doblados de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., in Aguascalientes. The acquisition was made to meet rising demand from Japanese auto manufacturers and to streamline its supply system of headrest parts. In February of the same year, it established a company to produce iron casting parts with Kitagawa Iron Works (refer to the section on Kitagawa for details), and in May, another company (wholly owned) for pressed product business called Aguascalientes Steel Coil Center S.A. de C.V. in Aguascalientes. The latter is owned 99% by its U.S. subsidiary, Kentucky Steel Center Inc., aiming to begin operations of the plant by the summer of 2013.

Seiren sees Mexico as potential developing region

 As its next potential overseas site, Seiren "is considering Mexico. If realized, the new site will be our ninth global supply system," says Koichi Yuikawa, the company's vice president (June 2012). No details have been announced.

Tigers Polymer establishes subsidiary in Mexico; to start operation in January 2014

 In February 2012, Tigers Polymer established a solely owned auto parts/home appliances manufacturing and sales subsidiary, Tigerpoly Industria de Mexico S.A. de C.V. in Guanajuato. The subsidiary will be capitalized at 120 million Mexican pesos (about 800 million JPY). It was established to meet rising demand for automotives in Mexico. The construction of the plant will begin in April 2013, and the operation is scheduled to begin in January 2014. It will spend about one billion JPY for this project. With two existing sites in the U.S. the new plant will become a production hub for markets with Latin America in mind.

Daido Metal establishes new production company for engine bearings

 In February 2012, Daido Metal established Daido Metal Mexico S.A .de C. V., in Jalisco. The construction of its plant will begin in the following April, and the operations are planned to start in the latter half of 2013. The plant will produce plain bearings for engines supplied to OEMs in the U.S. and Mexico. With an investment of about five billion JPY, the supplier is targeting an annual production capacity of two million sets of bearings. The operations in Mexico will complete construction of a global manufacturing structure based on five key areas: Japan, China, Asia, the U.S., and Europe/Russia.

Tsubakimoto Chain considering production of timing chains for engines in Mexico

 Tsubakimoto Chain is currently considering improving its production capacity of timing chains for engines in North America. With its existing U.S. plant already in full operation, the supplier is planning to expand its operations to Mexico starting in 2013 in response to rising demand for chains from North American regions, including Mexico.

TSK establishes production company for rubber part molds

 In November 2012, TSK established TSK MOLDING MEXICO in San Luis Potosi. A plant to produce molds for door trims will be constructed with an investment of 200 million JPY. Molds will be produced in the new Mexican plant using machine tools, feeding mold drawing data done Japan. Produced molds will be supplied to major Japanese suppliers in Mexico. Targeted annual revenue is 200 million JPY.

THK begins construction of new plant in Mexico; to start operation in 2013

 THK established a new company to produce auto parts and linear motion rolling guides, THK RHYTHM MEXICANA S.A. de C.V. in Silao, Guanajuato. The company held a groundbreaking ceremony in May 2012. Its operation is set to begin in the spring of 2013. The plant will initially produce spherical plain bearings used in link mechanisms for steering wheels.

Topre establishes production company for pressed parts; operation to start in 2014

 In March 2012, Topre established a company to manufacture pressed parts, Topre Autoparts Mexico, S.A. de C.V. in Queretaro. The new company was capitalized at around 51 million Mexican pesos (around 330 million JPY). The total investment was four billion JPY for this project. The plant is scheduled to begin production in January 2014. The action was taken in response to orders received from Nissan for parts used in automobile production in Mexico and pickup trucks shipped to Thailand.

Toyo Tire & Rubber considering production/sales site for vibration isolating rubbers in Mexico

 Toyo Tire & Rubber is actively developing its markets outside of Japan, and it is planning to establish a production/sales site in Mexico by 2015. It is currently working on details including the possibility of collaborating with affiliate companies. It is also exploring the idea of providing products from Mexico to markets in North America.

Nichias establishes manufacture/sales company for gaskets and brake shims; operation to start in 2013

 Nichias established NAX MFG, S.A. de C.V. in San Luis Potosi in June 2012. The subsidiary was capitalized at 600 million dollars. 800 million dollars will be spent for the construction of a plant, aiming to start operations in July 2013. Gaskets and brake shims will be supplied to Japanese OEMs and suppliers in Mexico, but the company is also considering the possibility of exporting its products to Brazil. Nichias's goal is to achieve revenue of one billion JPY for FY2017.

Nisshin Kogyo begins FS for new operation in Mexico

 Nisshin Kogyo is doing a feasibility study on the possibility of starting a new operation in Mexico. Due to profitability and cost competitiveness being the two key factors for the success of local production, and the possibility that the new plant may also supplement productions in the U.S. and Brazil depending on its production volume, the management is taking its time to make a decision (Source: President of Nisshin Kogyo, Eiji Okawara, February 2012).

Japan Vilene establishes floor mat manufacturing subsidiary

 In May 2012, Japan Vilene established a wholly owned, floor mat manufacturing/sales subsidiary, VIAM Mexico S.A. de C.V. in Aguascalientes. The new company was capitalized at 50 million dollars (around 410 million JPY). This will be its third overseas production site following China and the U.S. It aims to drive its globalization by enhancing collaboration across these countries including Japan.

Hiruta Kogyo construction of first plant in Mexico

 Hiruta Kogyo will build a new plant through its subsidiary established in April 2012, HIRUTA MEXICO, in Guanajuato. The plant will produce suspension parts and body parts. The total investment for this project is approximately two billion JPY and the construction will start from November 2012, with a plant scheduled to start operation in January 2014. Hiruta aims to post sales of 2.5 billion JPY in 2016. By developing new European/U.S. accounts and not limiting its customers to Japanese OEMs, such as Mazda, it targets annual revenue of 4-5 billion JPY in the long term with non-Japanese automakers accounting for 20% of its revenue.

Towa Textile Industry establishes joint venture for interior parts; plant to start operations in 2014

 Towa Textile Industry will construct an interior parts plant with its French alliance, Faurecia, in Puebla city, Puebla with operation set to begin in 2014. The new plant is constructed to fulfill local production system to provide Nissan with locally produced interior parts. Towa takes a 49% stake, and Faurecia a 51% stake.

Maruichi Steel Tube/Marubeni-Itochu Steel/Toyota Tsusho establish new steel tube production company; operation scheduled to begin in late 2012

 In February 2012, Maruichi Steel Tube jointly established an automobile steel tube manufacturing/sales company with Marubeni-Itochu Steel and Toyota Tsusho called MARUICHIMEX S.A. de C.V. in Aguascalientes. The new company was capitalized at ten million dollars (approximately 780 million JPY) with Maruichi American Corporation holding 60% of its share. The operation at the plant will begin by the end of 2012. The products will be provided to Japanese OEMs and suppliers located within Aguascalientes, where the plant is located, or Guanajuato.

Musashi Seimitsu Industry establishes production/sales company for automobile and motorcycle equipments and general-purpose equipments; plant to start operations in 2014

 In March 2012, Musashi Seimitsu Industry established a Mexican subsidiary, Musashi Auto Parts Mexico, S.A. de C.V., in San Luis Potosi. The subsidiary was capitalized at 160 million Mexican pesos (about one billion JPY). A plant will be built with an investment of 2.4 billion JPY by 2016. Production is planned to commence from January 2014. Ball joints, camshafts, and planetary parts will be produced at the plant and supplied to Honda. The new Mexican plant is constructed to add production capability due to capacity overflow at existing plants in the U.S. The revenue is projected at 360 million JPY for FY2014, during its first year in production. The plant is also seen as its export site as growth in Latin American region is expected. The supplier aims to start transactions with other OEMs in the future.

Mitsui Kinzoku Act establishes auto parts manufacturing company; to start operation in July 2013

 In July 2012, Mitsui Kinzoku Act, a group company of Mitsui Mining & Smelting, established a auto-door parts manufacturing company, MITSUI KINZOKU ACT MEXICANA, S.A. de C.V., in Silao, Guanajuato. The company capitalized the subsidiary at 38 million dollars. The operation is scheduled to begin in July 2013. It will produce functional parts for automobiles such as door locks. The capital expenditure is around 1.5 billion. Mitsui Kinzoku Act is planning a two-year capacity expansion with the investment.

Yachiyo Industry establishes new company; to start operation in April 2014

 In February 2012, Yachiyo Industry established their first company in Mexico, Yachiyo Mexico Manufacturing S.A. de C.V., in Celaya, Guanajuato. The subsidiary was capitalized at 240 million Mexican pesos (about 1.6 billion JPY). More than one billion JPY is expected to be spent on this project. The production will commence from April 2014. Plastic fuel tanks and sunroofs supplied to Honda will be manufactured at the plant.

U-shin establishes subsidiary; to start operation in 2013

 In January 2012, U-shin established U-SHIN AUTOPARTS MEXICO,S.A. DE C.V. in Irapuato, Guanajuato. U-Shin decided on this location based on efficient delivery to Mazda. The plant is currently under construction with operations set to begin in June 2013. Its production facilities at the Tennessee plant will be relocated to the new Mexico plant after it is closed and sold. Locksets, heater controls, panels, door latches, and switches are planned to be produced at the plant. Products will be shipped to Mazda as well as VW's Mexico plant. The new plant is considered as a production site for supplies for major OEMs in North America and Latin America in addition to local Japanese automakers.

Yokohama Rubber considers construction of new plant in Latin America in its mid-term plan

 In February 2012, Yokohama Rubber announced Latin America as its potential location for a new plant in its medium term management plan, "GD 100 phase III (FY2012 - 2014)." No details have been announced.



Mexico - enhancements on production capacities and business structures: Exedy, Sanoh Industrial, Hitachi Automotive Systems, Nifco, Yorozu construct second and third plants; Calsonic Kansei enhances its development structure

Ahresty expands plant to increase local procurement rate of mold to 30% by 2015

 Ahresty will increase its local procurement of molds used to produce die casting parts in Mexico from several percent for 2012 estimate to 30% by 2015. Most of the molds are imported from Japan, but to prevent profit loss from a strong yen, it will replace them with increased in-house productions and molds procured from affiliate companies in the U.S. The company started expansions on its molding and die-casting plants at Ahresty Mexicana, S. A. de C .V, in Zacatecas from March 2012. The construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2012.

Exedy to build second AT torque converter & clutch pack plant in Mexico

 In July 2012, Exedy broke ground on its second plant site of its local subsidiary, EXEDY DYNAX Mexico S.A de C.V., in Aguascalientes. Exedy decided to construct the new plant in PILA Industrial Park about 50 km South of the current leased plant to resolve space issues with ten billion JPY. The mass production of automotive components will start in September 2013. The new plant will increase its annual production capacity of torque converters from the current 250K units to 900K, and hydraulic clutch packs from 800K to 1.5 million units. It will also improve its local procurement rate for components to more than 90%. With this relocation, the supplier will be able to respond to the growing demand of auto parts from increased production of Japanese auto manufacturers and transmission manufacturers in Mexico.

Ohashi Technica establishes sales subsidiary

 To cope with operation expansion focused on developing countries, Ohashi Technica established a sales subsidiary, OHASHI TECHNICA MEXICO (temporary name) in Guanajuato, Mexico in October 2012. The capital funding is projected to be about 100 million JPY. The company will deliver parts produced in the U.S. production sites and imported products from Japan to OEMs, such as Honda and Nissan, and to Japanese suppliers.

Omron Automotive Electronics begins production of automotive devices under a contract

 In April 2012, Omron Automotive Electronics began production of automotive devices (switches and non-drive system ECUs) under a contract. The contract company will utilize a shelter service which will provide all the necessary resources needed for production, such as plants and labors. Omron Automotive Electronics will limit its investment to production facilities. The expected gross investment for the period ending in March 2016 is 2.4 billion JPY. The investment was made to cope with the localization of customer OEMs and suppliers.

Kamiita Sosei resumes operations at Mexico plant in April 2012; produces cold-forged parts

 Kamiita Sosei resumed its production of cold-forged parts at KAMIMEX S.A. DE C.V. (Baja California State) in April 2012. It had discontinued the operation of the plant since December 2008. The company added a new electric furnace and a 3D measuring device with an investment of 300 million JPY. The company will supply cold-forged parts to suppliers. The expected revenue is 170 million JPY for FY2012, the first year, and 510 million JPY for FY2013.

Calsonic Kansei enhances plant production capacity and engineering structure

 Calsonic Kansei will enhance its production capacity for air-conditioning systems at Calsonic Kansei Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. in Aguascalientes between 2012 and 2013. The enhancement will be deployed within its premises, and equipment will be installed over time. The investment is made to cope with Nissan's improved production capacity in Mexico. Calsonic Kansei has not announced its production capacity, but plans a capital expenditure of 24 billion JPY for FY2012. As a part of the enhancements of its engineering structure in emerging countries, research staff will be increased to 50 by the end of FY2012 from 18 in FY2010 and 31 in FY2011.

Kasai Kogyo considering expansion of plants in Mexico

 Kasai Kogyo is considering the establishment of a 50-50 joint venture with Grupo Antolin, seeking a way to expand its production of sun visors, ceilings, and doors in reaction to the increased production of Nissan in Mexico (May 2012). The company plans to build a new plant in Guanajuato state where its existing plant is located, and to supply with parts for mainly Nissan's Dutsan trucks and small vehicles such as March/Versa.

Kinugawa Rubber Industrial to expand its property at Mexico plant fivefold; adds items to its lineup

 In June 2012, Kinugawa Rubber Industries reached the last stage in finalizing the acquisition of 80,000 square meters of land next to its existing plant, KINUGAWA MEXICO, S.A.DE C.V. in Guanajuato. It will construct a new building with operations planned to begin by FY2013. The new plant will have five times the size of the current plant. In addition to body seal parts--its major production item--the supplier will now produce vibration isolating rubbers and hoses outside of Japan for the first time, to make its production lineup more comprehensive. It is also considering the transfer of a part of the production items in the U.S. to Mexico. The expansion was made in response to the plans to increase production by major Japanese and European automakers aiming at revenues of 10 billion JPY in the future.

Kiriu to add production of steering knuckle to its lineup

 Kiriu will add production of steering knuckles to its lineup from 2012 for a new order from a Japanese OEM at KIRIU MEXICANA S.A. DE C.V. in Lerma, Mexico. It is planning to make the part its major product in addition to its existing brake related parts. The production volume for 2012 is expected to exceed twice the performance of 2011. It will work to further increase its orders from Japanese automakers, especially from Nissan. The actions are executed under overseas production enhancement plans for steering knuckles created at Kiriu headquarters.

Sanoh Industrial considers construction of third plant

 Sanoh Industrial is considering constructing a third plant to produce tubular products for automobiles in Aguascalientes. The construction is to comply with the enhanced production capacities of Nissan and Honda from the construction of their new plants. Detailed information such as the start of operations and production capacities are unannounced.

Jatco to add third line by mid 2012; to produce CVTs for HVs

 Jatco planning to expand its annual production capacity of CVTs from 700K units in 2012 to 1.2 million units in 2013 at JATCO Mexico, S.A. de C.V. in Aguascalientes State by adding a third line with an investment of ten billion JPY. The line is added to respond to increased demand, mainly coming for Nissan. In the past, Jatco produced mid-size CVTs in Mexico, but added its latest model of CVT for mid to large-size vehicles, the CVT8, in March 2012, and will add another model for compact cars, the CVT7, in the following fall. In 2013, it will begin production of the CVT8 hybrid for Nissan's HVs sold in North America. Localization of development function will also proceed at the same time.

Tachi-S establishes Latin America regional headquarters and seat plant; establishes a seat frame and mechanical parts joint venture with Fujikiko

 Tachi-S established a regional headquarters office for Latin America, Tachi-S Engineering Latin America, S.A. de C.V, within its local production company, INSA. The aim is to respond to the changing business of Japanese OEMs, its major clients, efficiently and rapidly.
 In July 2012, Tachi-S established a joint venture, FUJIKIKO TACHI-S MEXICO, S.A. de C.V., with Fujikiko in Aguascalientes. Seat frames will be manufactured by Tachi-S and mechanical parts, like seat recliners, by Fujikiko. The production at the plant will begin in 2014 to supply parts to Nissan. The company will also collaborate with Fujikiko to supply frames and trims to Mazda. The manufacturer will consolidate production of seat frames and mechanical structural parts to its three emerging countries: China, Mexico and Thailand. Products made at the Mexico plant will be supplied to the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. A part of R&D capability will be transferred to Mexico to strengthen its development performances.
 Tachi-S will also construct a new seat plant for compact cars in Guanajuato where Honda has setup a new plant. Delivery to Honda is planned to start by 2013. The new plant will be operated through Tachi-S Engineering Latin America, S.A. de C.V. The initial annual production capacity is around 400K units with plans to expand the capacity after 2014. The new plant will be Tachi-S's fifth seat plant in Mexico.

TS Tech considering construction of seat production plant

 TS Tech already owns cover sawing plants for trim covers in Mexico. However, they are doing a feasibility study on seat production in Mexico for the possibility of constructing a plant for manufacturing seats. The consideration was initiated in response to Honda's strategy to expand southward, but is open to the idea of receiving orders from other companies (TS Tech President Toshio Komeji, February 2012).

Nishikawa Rubber to build second plant in Mexico

 Nishikawa Rubber is constructing its second plant in Guanajuato scheduled to start operations by the beginning of 2013. The plant will supply rubber seals to several Japanese OEMs, including Mazda. The existing plant in Aguascalientes produces similar products to supply non-Japanese OEMs like GM.

Nifco establishes its third production site in Mexico

 In January 2012, Nifco announced the plan to establish its third production site in Mexico, Nifco De Mexico S. De R.L. C.V., in Guanajuato. The construction begins in the summer of 2012 and production of plastic fasteners is planned to start by the end of 2012. The start of operations was pushed up two to three years from the original plan. 15 million dollars (around 1.2 billion JPY) will be spent on this project. The company will initially deliver its products to major Japanese automakers and expand its business to U.S./European major OEMs later on.

Nihon Plast to enhance production capacity of handles

 Nihon Plast will expand its handle production lines to increase production capacity by 70% from 2011 by June 2013. This is to cope with an increase in production at Japanese OEMs in Mexico.

Nidec to mass produce motors without rare earth elements in Mexico

 Nidec will invest 200-300 billion JPY to establish a global mass production structure that will allow it to produce switched reluctance (SR) motors without rare earth elements by 2015. Mass production will be launched in Japan in April 2012 followed by China, Poland, and Mexico.

Piolax to completely transfer assembly parts production from North America to Mexico

 Piolax will consolidate its production of assembly parts for the North American market currently located in both the U.S. and Mexico to Mexico by FY2013. The company plans to drive competitiveness by cutting back on its labor costs. The U.S. plant will focus on fasteners with more automated processes. The Mexico plant will respond to growing demands for assembly parts from Japanese OEMs as well as North America. Its revenue for FY2014 is estimated to double from FY2011.

Hitachi Automotive Systems to improve production capacity 2-3 times with construction of second and third plants

 Hitachi Automotive Systems will construct a second plant next to its first plant, Unisia Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. (Lerma, Mexico) to produce engine parts including ignition coils starting September 2012. The construction of its third plant has also been confirmed. These constructions will double or triple the production capacity in Mexico in the first half of 2014 compared to FY2011. More than ten billion JPY is expected to be spent on this project.

Hitachi Cable expands production for ABS sensors; to go into mass production from 2013

 In May 2012, Hitachi Cable announced that it will add ABS sensor manufacturing equipments at HC Queretaro, S.A. de C.V. in Queretaro currently producing brake hoses for the Mexican market, to make the plant its new production site for ABS sensors. Mass production is set to start from September 2013. The decision was made foreseeing potential market development in Latin America where an increase in demand for ABS sensors is expected. By FY2014, the supplier plans to increase its production capacity of ABS sensors to 1.4 times from FY2011 as a group.

Yamashita Rubber to increase production capacity at Mexico plant

 Yamashita Rubber is currently producing vibration insulating rubber for Honda's plants in the U.S., Mexico, and Brazil at YUSA AUTOPARTS MEXICO in Zacatecas. To cope with increased demand in Mexico, the U.S., and Canada, the supplier will double its production capacity at the Mexico plant. The construction of the plant is in its second phase with an investment of two billion JPY. The operation will begin immediately after its completion in January 2013. With premises boasting 200K square meters of land, Yamashita Rubber sees it as its major production location for collapsible tubes with a capacity matching its plant in Thailand.

Unipres to install large-size stamping machines to enhance high-strength steel production

 In response to Nissan's global model touch ups and launches of new models, Unipres is in the process of installing new large-size stamping machines to its plants including Unipres Mexicana, S.A de C .V. in Aguascalientes to increase its world-wide high-strength steel production capacity. The supplier is planning to add a 2500 and a 2000-ton class TRF press in addition to its existing 3000-ton class press and a blanking press. The machines will start operations over time between January and September of 2013. The company will spend 2.3 billion JPY for this project. The manufacturer receives orders for parts used on Nissan's March, Versa and Note.

Yorozu to construct second production site to allow more orders

 In March 2012, Yorozu established its second subsidiary in Mexico, Yorozu Automotive Guanajuato de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., in Guanajuato. The subsidiary was capitalized at 536 million Mexican pesos (about three billion JPY). The company established separate firms to disperse its risk. The company held a groundbreaking ceremony in July 2012, and the construction is scheduled to complete in June 2013. The production of suspensions and its related parts were originally planned to begin in January 2014, but it was pushed up three months to start operations in October 2013. 700 million Mexican pesos (about five billion JPY) will be invested for this project. Produced parts will not only be supplied to Nissan and VW, but will also be presented to Honda and Mazda who will locate their new plants within the state. By FY2015, when it is in full operation, Yorozu estimates its revenue at 800 million Mexican pesos (4.5 billion JPY). It will also serve as a point of export for shipments to Brazil.



Brazil: Denso expands plant and constructs technical center; Toyota to open suppliers' park

Asahi Glass brakes ground on its first plant in Brazil

 In April 2012, Asahi Glass broke ground on its first subsidiary in Brazil, AGC Vidros do Brasil Ltda., in Sao Paulo. The operation will begin in 2013 to produce and sell architectural and automotive glass. The estimated annual production capacity for 2016 is 220K tons for float glass and 500K units' worth of automotive glass. The new operation in Brazil with an investment of 40 billion JPY is a part of its major project executed under one of AGC Group's management policies, "Second Round of Globalization."

Calsonic Kansei establishes local office; to begin production in 2014

 In July 2012, Calsonic Kansei established a local office in Brazil, Calsonic Kansei do Brazil LTDA, in Sao Paulo. The establishment is a part of business enforcement strategy in emerging countries. The supplier will focus on expanding its sales network for compressors. Because the company has limited management resources, production in Brazil will be done "with minimal spending by producing within clients' premises or facilities. Production will begin around 2014" said Calsonic Kansei President Bunsei Kure. The manufacturer currently produces on-board A/C at a local plant of a German company, Behr, under a contract.

Kinugawa Rubber Industries plans for entry into Brazilian market

 In the Latin American market, seeing increased demands in emerging countries as its chance to expand its sales, Kinugawa Rubber Industries is planning to construct a plant in Mexico in 2013. It is also studying the timing and the method for expanding its business to Brazil (Kinugawa Rubber President Sadao Sekiyama May 2012).

Sanoh Industrial's new auto tubular product plant to start operations in summer of 2012

 Sanoh Industrial will construct a new auto tubular product plant at Toyota's new plant in Sorocaba, Sao Paulo as part of its plant to expand its overseas production locations. The plant will go online in the summer of 2012. The products will be supplied to Toyota. The supplier is already producing brake tubes at Sanoh do Brasil Industria e Comercio de Produtos Automotivos Ltda. in Sao Paulo.

JTEKT adds new technical center within premises of its local plant

 In 2012, JTEKT established a "Technical Center" as JTEKT AUTOMOTIVA BRASIL LTDA.'s affiliate facility within the premises of its power steering plant to enhance its development structure. The company will also construct a "testing course" in September 2012. With many OEMs in Brazil developing their products locally, JTEKT decided to construct the center to respond to demands and requests from its clients in a timely manner. Its aim is to increase orders from VW and Fiat.

Tachi-S establishes a local subsidiary to prepare construction and manage business of two new seat plants in Brazil

 In August 2012, Tachi-S established its Brazilian subsidiary, Tachi-S Brasil Ltda. The company will look after the funding and operations relating to two seat production companies the supplier plans to construct in Brazil. The first plant will be built in the suburb of Rio de Janeiro where Nissan is constructing its new plant. The plant will go into production in 2013 and start mass production by the first half of 2014. The other plant will be constructed in Sao Paulo where Honda has its production site, with Johnson Controls, Tachi-S's biggest share holder. The two companies already have a collaborative relationship in production of Honda's vehicle seats for overseas models. The investment was equally split between the two companies to mitigate their risks.

Denso completes installment of all equipment at the Sao Paulo plant; starts operations of technical center; production of auto ECU begins

 Denso finally completed installment of facilities in July 2012 at its new plant in Sao Paulo, Parana, DENSO D O BRASIL LTD A. while the production of A/Cs and cleaning modules were already in operation from January 2011. It will add starters and wipers to its production lines from the following September. The manufacturer also started operations of Brazil technical center located within the premises of the plant in July of the same year. It aims to localize development of products like air conditioners, starters, alternators and powertrains to align them with the needs of local customers. This will be the sixth development site outside of Japan for Denso.
 Denso will also add auto ECU production line at DENSO INDUSTRIAL DA AMAZONIA LTDA., in Amazonas spending 400 million JYP to start production from September 2012. The component will be supplied for the production of Toyota's strategic car for developing countries, the Etios, from September 2012. The company is considering transferring the production of auto ECUs to the Santa Barbara plant from 2015. Denso is currently focused on increasing production items, mainly at the Santa Barbara plant, adding starters, wipers, and hoses for A/Cs in September 2012 and meters and alternators in FY2013.
 Moreover, Denso received orders from Nissan for A/C HVAC units in a mass production scale. The company will start supplying the product from FY2014. By expanding its business to projects by companies other than Nissan, the company is aiming to double its annual revenue in Latin America to 110 billion JPY by FY2015.

Tokai Rubber Industries planning to launch first production site in Brazil

 Tokai Rubber is executing its global development under its "medium term plan 2015V." Having had completed developing emerging countries in Asia, it is now looking into its expansion to Latin America. It will establish a production site in Brazil by FY2012 to serve as a production base for vibration insulating rubber and fuel hoses. The launch will be conducted in a form of M&A of a local rubber product supplier with a history of supplying to European auto or parts maker, joint venture, or sole investment.

Tokai Rika to start large-size plastic plating business

 Tokai Rika will install a plating facility for plating large-size plastics attached to engine hoods at TRBR INDUSTRIA E COMERCIO LTDA. plant in Sao Paulo. The supplier will deliver plated large-size plastics to Toyota for its Brazil models starting in September 2012. The company will spend 2.1 billion JPY for this project. Tokai Rika is planning to promote its product to other Japanese and Europe/U.S auto manufactures in the future.

Toyo Tire & Rubber considering sales site for vibration isolating rubbers

 Toyo Tire & Rubber is actively expanding the sales of vibration isolating rubbers in markets outside of Japan, and it is planning to establish a sales office in Brazil within a few years. It will also explore the possibility of local production by taking trends relating to customs duties into consideration.

Toyoda Gosei considers opening a plant in Brazil

 In its long term vision, Toyoda Gosei aims to expand its overseas businesses in regions including developing countries for its auto parts. Construction of a plant in Brazil is also being studied, but "the research is taking more time than expected and we cannot reach a conclusion. We would at least like to finish gathering information and set up a business location soon," said Toyoda Gosei President Tadashi Arashima in February 2012.

Toyota Motor opens suppliers' park

 Toyota Motor will open a suppliers' park "Area Industrial Sorocaba (AIS)" in Sorocaba, Sao Paulo by September 2012. Toyota will encourage transactions with non-Toyota suppliers in Brazil as well. According to Toyota Brazil, "we felt we needed to avoid suppliers from being turned down because of "Toyota-ish" taste in the product when a supplier pitches its product to other OEMs." AIS is already occupied by six Japanese suppliers: Toyoda Boshoku, Toyota Motor East Japan, Sanoh Industrial, a steel processing company under the Toyota Tsusho group, and two scrapping companies. Other tenants are Pirelli (Italy), Faurecia (France), Inergy Automotive, and Pilkington (U.K) as well as two local companies.

U-Shin plans independently constructing plant in Brazil

 U-Shin is planning to construct a plant in Brazil independently. After the plant goes live, all parts sent from the U.S. will be replaced by local production. (President Kohji Tanabe, February 2012)

Source: Press Releases of the above companies, and news reports

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