Michigan-based Aisin World Corporation, a subsidiary of Japanese auto parts giant, Aisin Seiki Co., has expanded into Canada by opening a plant in Woodstock, southern Ontario, writes Monica Dobie.

Aisin, makers of brakes, transmissions, engine parts and other components, will produce body mouldings and windshield trim for the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in Cambridge, as well as the Suzuki-General Motors joint venture CAMI Automotive plant in Ingersoll.

“They are two of our customers and we wanted to be close to them,” Jim Thornley said in an interview with the local Sentinel Review. “That was a big driver to why Woodstock was selected.”

The 55,000 sq. ft. building plant is expected to open in August 2003 and employ close to 40 people with plans to boost employment to 80 by 2005 with sales of $C30 million

Thornley said the new Canadian venture is for the long term: “We intend to be there a long time. I’m sure we’ll be around Woodstock for quite a while”, he said.

Aisin Seiki sales for the first six months ended September 30 rose to 262.9 billion yen ($2US.15 billion), from 261.5 billion yen ($2.14 billion) a year earlier.