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Japanese auto supplier chooses ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ for new plant, creating 200 jobs

Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday announced that Japan-based Vuteq plans to invest more than $60 million to open a manufacturing facility to serve the under-construction Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. (MTMUS) auto assembly plant in Huntsville.

Vuteq USA, which has operated in North America for over three decades, will hire approximately 200 workers for its first production location in Alabama.

The global automotive company joins a growing list of Tier 1 suppliers that have announced plans to set up operations in the Yellowhammer State.

“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 in a statement.

“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. We look forward to working with Vuteq and seeing it grow in Sweet Home Alabama,” she added.

Vuteq USA will produce interior and exterior plastic-injected parts and various sub-assemblies for Mazda and Toyota at their shared Alabama assembly plant in Limestone County.

“Vuteq USA Inc. is very pleased and excited to be opening our next plant in Alabama,” Kazumasa Watanabe, president of Vuteq USA, commented. “Our company is thankful for the support provided by the City of Huntsville and State of Alabama as we begin a new chapter.”

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

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.

Counting Vuteq, five suppliers for MTMUS have already announced plans for facilities that will create nearly 1,700 additional 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,” Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield advised. “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.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn