TUNICA – Advanced Industrial Products supplies Toyota Motor Corp., but it’s not necessarily an automotive supplier.
The Lexington, Ky.-based company is a distributor and supplier of hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical components for industrial automation, and has done business with Toyota for more than 20 years. But AIP’s customers extend beyond the the automotive industry.
The company’s president, Dennis Stephens, told the Daily Journal at the Southern Automotive Conference on Thursday that AIP has bought a 7,000-square-foot building near the Tupelo Regional Airport that it will convert for use.
AIP should be up and running by early next year.
“We’re a Tier 1 supplier for Toyota for 22 years in Kentucky, so we’ve done a lot of business with them,” Stephens said. “We also work them them in Alabama and West Virginia,” where Toyota has engine plants.
“But we’re also involved with other manufacturing,” he added.
Northeast Mississippi’s big concentration in manufacturing was appealing, although Stephens admitted that Toyota also “asked us to join them” in Mississippi.
“We have about 350 customers that we do support with parts,” he added. He hopes that AIP will be able to expand its customer base in Mississippi by opening in Tupelo.
The Tupelo facility won’t be a large operation, staring with “a couple employees.”
“We’re not a big company since we’re not a manufacturing plant,” he said. “But we’ll also be doing some support services.”
The company could grow as it gains customers – and if Toyota expands its Blue Springs plant.
“Well, if you look at the history, Toyota has expanded at all of its other plants in North America,” Stephens said.
Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal