Announcement of investment in manufacturing facilities at US subsidiary UACJ Automotive Whitehall Industries
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The aim is to meet the brisk demand for aluminum automotive components
TOKYO – (BUSINESS WIRE) – UACJ Corporation (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President and Representative Director: Miyuki Ishihara) today announced its decision to invest in new manufacturing facilities for two factories owned by its US-based subsidiary UACJ is operated by Automotive Whitehall Industries, Inc. (headquarters: Ludington, Michigan; President and CEO: David Cooper). An extrusion press is added to a factory at Michigan headquarters, and machining and assembly equipment is installed in a new factory in Flagstaff, Arizona. The investment amount for the new devices, which will be phased in from July 2021, is expected to be around 3.6 billion yen (about $ 33.3 million). The devices are used to manufacture automotive components such as front and rear bumpers and pinch cans * and components.
In recent years, automakers in the United States have reduced the weight of vehicles to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions in response to stricter environmental regulations. The country has also adopted renewable energy sources and switched to electric vehicles to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. Many countries have set themselves the goal of zero emissions by 2030 or 2035. In this context, climate-neutral technologies are promoted and promoted. Electrification has made progress in the automotive industry. Because electric vehicles require relatively heavy lithium-ion batteries, automakers have worked to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle to improve driving performance. As a result, lightweight aluminum components have attracted attention in the industry.
UACJ expects market demand for aluminum automotive components manufactured by UACJ Automotive Whitehall Industries to increase as the US auto industry continues to electrify vehicles and reduce their weight. On this basis, it was decided to invest in the new production facilities.
The UACJ Group will continue to promote the use of aluminum components in automobiles to reduce environmental impact while meeting customer needs by leveraging its ability as a comprehensive manufacturer to promptly deliver high quality aluminum products.
Overview of the planned investments in equipment
Factory location and type of equipment:
1) An extrusion press line for extruded high strength aluminum shapes and structure to house them will be installed at the Ludington, Michigan facility
2) Machining centers, laser processing machines, robots and automated assembly equipment will be installed in a new facility in Flagstaff, Arizona
Total Investment Amount: Approx. 3.6 billion yen
Planned commissioning: July 2021
Production capacity of extrusion press line: 750 tons per month
* A crush can is a structural component that connects the vehicle frame and bumper and absorbs the shock of a collision.
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Source: UACJ Corporation