Auto supplier YKTA to create 650 jobs at $220M Alabama plant

Auto supplier YKTA to create 650 jobs at $220M Alabama plant
YKTA President Ryuji Fujimoto speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony for the auto supplier's $220 million parts plant in Huntsville. The facility, with 650 workers, will serve Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA. (contributed)

Gov. Kay Ivey joined executives from auto supplier Y-tec Keylex Toyotetsu Alabama (YKTA) at a ceremony in Huntsville to announce the company’s plans to invest $220 million to open a manufacturing facility that will create 650 jobs.

The YKT Alabama facility will be on the site of the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. (MTMUS) auto assembly plant under construction in the Limestone County portion of Huntsville.

YKTA, a new joint venture formed between a trio of Mazda and Toyota suppliers, will produce structural body stampings and assemblies, as well as functional and chassis parts, for MTMUS.

“YKT Alabama is a significant addition to the growing automotive cluster centered around the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. auto assembly plant in Huntsville,” Ivey said.

“This venture will not only create 650 well-paying jobs but also solidify the foundation of the automotive supply chain that is emerging in North Alabama.”

Construction on YKTA’s facility is set to begin this month. The company has already begun hiring its professional and technical staff, while the first production personnel will come on board in the fall of 2020.

Those interested in positions can apply on the YKTA website.

“We are proud to call Alabama our home and celebrate our commitment to North Alabama as our community,” YKTA President Ryuji Fujimoto said.

Growing supply chain

The start of parts production at YKTA’s facility will coincide with the launch of vehicle production at MTMUS in 2021.

The Mazda-Toyota partnership is investing $1.6 billion to build and equip its Huntsville assembly plant, which will have up to 4,000 workers producing up to 300,000 vehicles annually. Construction began several months ago.

YKTA is the second supplier to announce plans for a facility on the 2,500-acre MTMUS site, joining DaikyoNishikawa US (DNUS), which will produce large plastic parts such as bumpers and instrument panels at a $110 million facility staffed with 380 workers.

“We’re very committed to facilitating the formation of the supply chain for Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A., and the YKT Alabama joint venture facility is an important piece in the supplier puzzle,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“I am confident that we can deliver a first-class workforce for YKT Alabama and look forward to helping ensure the company has a smooth path to production.”

The YKTA alliance unites three successful Japanese suppliers:

  • Y-tec, established in 1945, produces automotive components and designs and manufactures dies, tooling and jigs for Japanese automakers including Toyota.
  • Keylex, established in 1924, specializes in vehicle body parts, produces dies and jigs, and designs and installs production equipment. Its major customer is Mazda, and the company operates a joint venture with Y-tec in Mexico.
  • Toyotetsu, established in 1946, is primarily a Toyota supplier and has North American operations in Kentucky, Texas, Canada and Mexico. These plants produce structural parts such as pillars, arms and beams as well as functional parts such as pedals.
YKTA will produce parts for vehicles built in Huntsville by Toyota and Mazda. (contributed)

Warm welcome

North Alabama officials who attended the groundbreaking ceremony welcomed YKTA’s investment in the region.

“This new three-company consortium brings together some of the top suppliers in the automotive industry,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said. “As with any success, collaboration is key. YKTA is following the model established by the Mazda Toyota joint venture to create a partnership on a dynamic campus that is going to lead the world in automotive innovation and opportunity.”

“We are excited to welcome YKTA to Limestone County,” Limestone County Commission Chairman Collin Daly said. “This $220 million investment that will create 650 new jobs is a testament to our great county and to our regional workforce that continues to receive global recognition.”

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.

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