Toyota supplier plans local expansion
AW North Carolina Inc., a manufacturer of automatic transmissions for Toyota vehicles, is planning a $137 million expansion that will mean more jobs for the company’s Durham County plant and new life for a vacant Granville County manufacturing facility.
The company plans to invest $112 million in a new transmission production line at its plant in the Treyburn Corporate Park, which is in Durham County. With the new line, the company expects to create 56 full-time jobs. The company already employs about 2,000 people, including contractors, at the site.
The Durham County site was competing with two other sites in North Carolina and alternative sites in Georgia, Tennessee and Mexico for the investment.
The company also is buying a facility in neighboring Granville County vacated earlier this year by contract electronics manufacturer Flextronics America.
The closure of the plant was expected to result in the layoff of 157 workers by March. Before the work shifted to Texas, the plant primarily produced Redbox kiosks.
“I think it’s a great thing for Granville County and AW North Carolina,” said Bill Edwards, Granville County’s economic development director. “It will add jobs and economic base to Granville County. It gives AW North Carolina a chance to expand, and still keep their operations close for management purposes.”
A subsidiary of the Japanese automatic transmissions manufacturer Aisin AW Co. Ltd., AW North Carolina makes automatic transmissions for Toyota vehicles such as the Tundra, Sequoia, Tacoma and Camry.
According to previous reports in The Herald-Sun, the company opened the Durham County facility in 2001 with about 450 employees.
The company had about 1,100 workers at the site by 2008, but saw its workforce shrink to about 700 in 2009. Its numbers have since grown again.
To help spur the company to invest here, Durham County, Granville County and the town of Butner pledged incentives. The company is not receiving state incentives, however.
The Durham County Board of Commissioners voted 5-0 Oct. 28 to offer $900,000 in incentives to AW North Carolina.
Granville County is giving the company $742,500 in incentives over five years and the Town of Butner will provide $312,500 in incentives over the same time period, according to a company news release.
“AWNC is extremely pleased to announce both our continued investment and our new acquisition,” said Masahiro Hayabuchi, president of AW North Carolina, in a prepared statement. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with Durham County and building a new relationship with Granville County.”