Jtekt Corporation has announced it is to expand its Koyo-brand bearing manufacturing facility in Richland County, South Carolina. It is claimed that the proposed 250,000 square-foot expansion will provide Jtekt with needed capacity needed to manufacture automotive wheel bearing hubs for its growing U.S. customer base, and is expected to create 175 new jobs in the next three years.
In addition to a $130m investment by Jtekt, the project was made possible with support from Gov. Nikki Haley, the state of South Carolina, Richland County and the city of Blythewood.
“This investment demonstrates Jtekt’s commitment to the North American auto industry as well as the community and citizens of Richland County,” said Hiroyuki Kaijima, CEO, Jtekt North America. “We are thankful to Gov. Haley and the government municipalities for their collaboration and dedication to help us make this expansion a reality.”
The expansion, the second for this facility, will double its size to more than 500,000 square feet to accommodate the growing business volume of Koyo wheel bearing hubs. Customers are incorporating Koyo’s advanced technologies of superior bearing sealing capability, stiffness, weight savings and efficiency. These benefits result in Koyo hubs being the preferred solution of automakers for next generation vehicles.
Currently the facility, which opened in 1995, employs 225 people. In addition to the Richland County location, Jtekt has eight other bearing manufacturing plants in North America with all North American operations employing more than 5,400 people.
“This expansion is a testament to the quality and dedication of our team and the trust placed in us by our customers,” stated Ken Hopkins, COO, Jtekt North America. “We are excited about our current growth in automotive and industrial markets and look forward to continued opportunities where Koyo quality, capabilities and innovation are valued.”