Auto supplier Vuteq to create 200 jobs at Alabama parts plant

Auto supplier Vuteq to create 200 jobs at Alabama parts plant
This rendering shows Vuteq USA's planned manufacturing facility in Huntsville. The plant will employ 200. (Vuteq USA)

Gov. Kay Ivey announced that global automotive supplier Vuteq plans to invest more than $60 million to open a manufacturing facility to serve the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. (MTMUS) auto assembly plant in Huntsville.

Japan-based Vuteq, which has operated in North America for more than three decades, will hire approximately 200 workers for its first production location in Alabama. The company joins a growing list of Tier 1 suppliers that have announced plans to set up operations in the region.

“The automotive cluster growing around Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. is gaining another significant addition with Vuteq’s decision to open a manufacturing facility in Huntsville,” Ivey said. “Vuteq has established a large industrial footprint in the United States, and it’s great to see the company expand that presence to our state.”

Vuteq USA will produce interior and exterior plastic-injected parts and various sub-assemblies for Mazda and Toyota at their shared Alabama assembly plant, now under construction on a 2,500-acre tract in the Limestone County portion of Huntsville.

“Vuteq USA Inc. is very pleased and excited to be opening our next plant in Alabama,” said Kazumasa Watanabe, president of Vuteq USA.

“Our company is thankful for the support provided by the City of Huntsville and State of Alabama as we begin a new chapter.”

A drone captures the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. facility under construction in August 2019. (Mazda Toyota)

Hiring plans

Construction work at Vuteq’s site at 7306 Greenbriar Parkway Northwest, just outside the MTMUS campus, is scheduled to begin in October.

Construction is expected to be completed in September 2020, followed by initial production trials of equipment, molds and secondary systems. A production launch is targeted for 2021.

Vuteq USA has begun hiring the first of its Alabama workforce, with full employment at the Huntsville facility projected to be reached in 2021.

Interested applicants can email the company at [email protected]. The company is also working with AIDT, the state’s primary workforce development agency, for hiring and training support.

Within its new Alabama facility, Vuteq USA will host several other manufacturing companies, one of which will be Diversity Vuteq LLC, a minority joint venture, and others yet to be named.

“We’re pleased that Huntsville will be home to Vuteq’s first venture in Alabama, and we welcome them to our growing network of automotive suppliers,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said.

‘A solid future’

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 on the facility began earlier this year.

Vuteq manufactures auto components such as instrument panels. (Vuteq)

MTMUS is expected to begin vehicle production in 2021.

By that time, a network of parts suppliers will be in place in North Alabama to support the Huntsville assembly operation. Counting Vuteq, five suppliers have announced plans for facilities that will create nearly 1,700 jobs. Their combined investment in Alabama totals $440 million.

“Vuteq is a superb addition to Alabama’s rapidly growing network of high-caliber international auto suppliers,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “I’m confident that Vuteq will benefit from the capabilities of Alabama’s skilled workforce and the state’s business-friendly environment.

“I know we can build a solid future together.”

Vuteq, which has more than 13,000 employees, has a long-established relationship with Toyota and plans to build a strong partnership with Mazda.

Since 1965, Vuteq has supplied Toyota with various services including logistics and parts such as interior trim, door trim and cockpit assemblies, among other things.

Vuteq launched North American operations in 1987 at Georgetown, Kentucky, where Toyota operates an assembly plant. Over the years, Vuteq has added U.S. manufacturing plants in Indiana, Texas and Mississippi, as well as a location in Ontario, Canada.

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

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