By Wire and staff reports
MANTACHIE — Officials with Toyota Boshoku will resume hiring and installing equipment at its north Mississippi plant where it will manufacture seats and other interior materials for the 2012 Corolla.
The Corolla will be built at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi plant located near Blue Springs.
Toyota Boshoku plans to start producing seats, door panels and sun visors in the second half of 2011, Masaki Katsuragi, CEO of Toyota Boshoku America, said in a statement.
The announcement was made Friday at the site of the $46 million parts plant.
“We have begun and will continue to fulfill our promise to invest in the community and create new jobs in the region,” Katsuragi said.
The 404,000 square foot facility is located off U.S. Highway 78 in Itawamba County. Much of the equipment needed to begin production has been ordered and will be installed in December.
Katsuragi said the company expects to hire about 250 workers total by the start of production in the fall of 2011. They currently have 43 employees and plan to have 60 workers by the end of the year.
Toyota Boshoku is one of eight suppliers lined up to provide parts and equipment for the Corolla.
When Toyota announced in December 2008 it was postponing the opening of the Blue Springs plant because of economic uncertainty, the suppliers also had to put their plans on hold.
Toyota announced in June it was restarting its Blue Springs plant. Company officials expect to have about 1,000 workers initially and 2,000 once it is fully operational. It has hired about 180 so far.
Suppliers are expected to employ another 1,500 to 2,000 people.
Toyota Boshoku America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Boshoku Corporation, based in Kariya City, Japan. Toyota Boshoku manufactures automotive interior systems which include seats, door trims, headliners, carpets and other equipment.
NEMS Daily Journal business editor Dennis Seid and Carlie Kollath attended the announcement by the company and will have more in Saturday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.